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Posted on Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 11:06 a.m.

Ann Arbor police urge vigilance after rape on Monday morning and two weekend attacks

By Lee Higgins

Update: Ann Arbor Police now describe the rape suspect as between 5'6 and 5'10. Read the updated description here.

Ann Arbor police are encouraging people to walk in pairs and take other precautions after a woman was pulled into an alley and raped this morning near the University of Michigan.

It marks the third time a woman has been attacked in the city in four days and investigators believe at least two men are responsible, police spokeswoman Lt. Renee Bush said.

Early Saturday, a woman was grabbed from behind and fondled in the 900 block of Greenwood Avenue. On Friday night, a woman was grabbed in the 400 block of North Division Street, but broke free and ran away.

Police will be stepping up patrols in cars and on foot where the assaults occurred, Bush said. Bush encouraged people to walk with friends or co-workers and avoid secluded areas. People shouldn't wear earphones or talk on cell phones while walking, she said.

About 12:40 a.m. today, an 18-year-old Ann Arbor woman was returning from a party and walking in the 700 block of South State Street when a man grabbed her. He pulled her behind a wall and raped her, police said.

The man left northbound on foot. Someone called 911 and police arrived within 90 seconds, Bush said. Officers took the woman to the University of Michigan Hospital.

The man was described as white, 6 feet, 5 inches tall, with brown hair and brown eyes. He was wearing a green T-shirt and khaki cargo pants. The attack occurred off-campus, near Weill Hall, a University of Michigan police crime alert said.

Bush said the man is not believed to be responsible for the two earlier attacks. In those cases, the attacker was described as having an olive complexion. He was 5 feet, 6 inches to 5 feet, 7 inches tall, in his late teens or early 20s with short black hair, or possibly a flat-top hairstyle. He had no facial hair and was wearing a zipped-up black hooded sweatshirt and khaki cargo pants.

Those two attacks occurred three hours apart. About 11 p.m. Friday, a 19-year-old Ypsilanti woman was walking near Community High School in the 400 block of North Division Street when a man grabbed her and attempted to drag her into a secluded area, police said. The woman broke free and ran away. About 2 a.m. Saturday, a man grabbed a 22-year-old Ann Arbor woman from behind in the 900 block of Greenwood Avenue, lifted up her dress and fondled her, police said. She also broke free.

Anyone with information can call the AAPD tip line at (734) 794-6939, email or call the University of Michigan Department of Public Safety at (734) 763-1131.

Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 or email at


Kai Petainen

Tue, Jul 19, 2011 : 12:38 p.m.

York University in Toronto had some assaults and they're getting some bad press about it... <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> &quot;In the wake of two sexual assaults in a York University dorm Friday night, questions are again being raised about the university's culture of secrecy surrounding such incidents. "York is doing the bare minimum of what they should be doing in communicating these incidents to the students," said Vanessa Hunt, president of the York Federation of Students. "They have security bulletins that they post on their website, but no one checks that. It's inadequate."


Tue, Jul 19, 2011 : 10:13 a.m.

Maybe police on the beat would prevent this. Oh yes, City Hall would rather have parks than protected citizens.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 10:05 p.m.

People of ill will might be drawn to AA for many reasons. When/if safety is steadily eroded everywhere, we might start discussing poverty, hopelessness, and the have-nots. Not excuses, but maybe causes that born by facts. Higher fences? (No stupid HDC jokes here, please.)

Jaime Magiera

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 8:47 p.m.

It would be easy to slip into &quot;Woman are more likely to this...&quot;, &quot;Men are more likely to that...&quot;, &quot;You don't understand...&quot;, &quot;Be angry...&quot;, etc. Our best bet is to put the divisiveness aside and work as a community. Predators look for those who appear weak and/or unaware. As a community, we should offer opportunities (and publicize those that already exist) to enhance the manner in which people conduct themselves when navigating city streets. This has to do with awareness of surroundings, demeanor, knowledge of safe places, self-defense, etc. The more prepared people are mentally, and the more assuredly they conduct themselves in public places, the less likely they will be preyed upon. Ann Arbor's population is increasing dramatically, and will continue to do so as the University brings in more students. The need for self-awareness won't diminish when these particular criminals are caught. One thing that may be helpful is if at the end of each story related to assault, included a paragraph listing assault-preventation resources. It may take up a little more space, but will help keep these resources in the public eye. As an aside, carrying more weapons may seem like a great idea... until you look at the statistics of communities that are heavily armed and see that there is very little difference. And really, do we want to live in a society where everyone is paranoid and armed to the teeth? I for one, do not.


Wed, Jul 20, 2011 : 8:14 p.m.

I agree for the most part, but legally permitted weapons carriers are not paranoid, but diligent....we live in a society where ignorance is bliss, especially in the Emerald City. I'm surprised no one has offered to talk to this scumbag rapist and help him understand how his actions affect others, and discuss a possible resolution....if not a grant for an indepth behavioral study...then put him on permanent disability....

Jaime Magiera

Tue, Jul 19, 2011 : 6:21 p.m.

Mitch, you mean Kennesaw, correct? <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;catid=8</a>

Mitch Smith

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 10:41 p.m.

look up Gun Town USA


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 7:43 p.m.

You want to deter this creep, carry a gun on your hip, openly. No license is required. Stop it BEFORE it happens. Or get the newly legalized 10% pepper spray if that is not an option. The pepper spray works better on the genitals than the eyes


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 7:12 p.m.

Carrying a gun or a can pepper spray works well in dog or human attacks. The idea of a utopia is a wonderful fantasy, but you will never keep nature out. There are environmental predators in nature; bacterial, plant,animal, and human. Knowledge and common sense are your greatest weapons. As for the police; the reduction in the number police officers is a result of poor leadership in Ann Arbor. While the city maintains the failed policy of giving housing and shelter to criminals. We can fill the gaps in the reduction of officers, by exercising or constitutional rights. You and you alone, are the justice on the streets and in your homes. It's up to you, don't depend on others to assist you and your neighbors. Rule #1 in nature is "kill and be killed."


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 8:02 p.m.

Ann - What's the deal? I correct Newboy's &quot;kill and be killed&quot; comment with &quot;Kill OR be killed', and you pull it. Why?

The Darker Knight

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 6:20 p.m.

Hello again my fellow citizens of Ann Arbor. I know my friends at headquarters are doing what they can but there is only so much area they can cover when their shifts consist of 5-8 patrol cars. They cannot be everywhere at once. I don't know how they are going to &quot;step up patrols&quot; as suggested, though, with so few cars in a city of over 120,000 people. My police friend tells me that they run with who is scheduled to work and beefed up patrol levels are not an option due to department costs - basically they make due with who shows up and work it out to the best of their ability. Even if they did assign 2-3 cars to the downtown area for incidents such as this, that leaves the rest of the city vulnerable. I do concur, though, with our good Lieutenant and encourage persons to be diligent and walk with friends. Awareness of surroundings is a large deterrent to the criminal mind. I cannot speak for the city leadership. All I can say is that If you are in need of help, my citizens of Ann Arbor... I will be looking skyward for your signal.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 5:09 p.m.

Wow this is super scary. I work really early and have to walk to my office since there's no parking around. I will definitely be extra vigilante...I hope they catch these guys. Be careful out there ladies! Walk with your head on a swivel and hold your keys between your fingers like claws.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 5:27 p.m.

And may I add: STAY OFF THE CELL PHONE WHILE YOU'RE OUT WALKING ALONE! Cell phone = distracted = vulnerable. You need to be 100 percent aware of what's going on around you 100 percent of the time. Impossible to do if you're yakking on the phone.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4:55 p.m.

It is interesting that when the suspect is a stranger, this is headline news but when the suspect is a UM football or basketball player the cops won't confirm it and won't publish it.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4:19 p.m.

It is certainly an insult to the women of Washtenaw County that such crimes are not the leading headline of it's local newspaper, .com, etc. I believe men don't completely understand how it feels to be overpowered and then raped or fondled. That's somewhat understandable since that is not necessarily likely to happen to them during their lifetime. The statistics on females being molested are staggering. We constantly have to remind ourselves that we cannot go anywhere at any time because of the scum out on the streets. Males don't really have that problem on the same level. Men, can you imagine if you had to alter your life like we do? It's not just a matter of staying in lit areas, not walking late at night (which we should be able to do in a town like Ann Arbor). I am assuming that men don't want this tyoe of crime to occur, but they need to stand up and fight for the women in their lives, not just say, &quot;I feel bad that this happens to women.&quot; This crime will seriously impact a female of ANY age for the rest of their lives. John A2: This kind of stuff happens to women ALL the time; not just in places where the police force is reduced. Get angry at the people who are committing these type of crimes. Go out of your way and do something about this complete imbalance for the females in your life, not just this week, but next year, etc.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 11:18 p.m.

&quot;do something about it&quot; clearly answers: &quot;Perhaps a more concrete suggestion would be helpful.&quot; Thank you. I will begin implementing your suggestions immediately.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 7:56 p.m.

I guess I actually had to spell it out for you, &quot;Get angry that this is happening and do something about it&quot;. I thought that message was pretty clear-did anybody else get confused? Not surprised that the subject of men needing to be careful came up, but go ahead and mince my words to whatever suits you- - - we couldn't actually have you agree with the basic message of publicizing rape in a much bigger way when it is currently happening in your area. Gee, I bet my spelling or puncuation is next.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 7:05 p.m.

No, Scott, I'm not stupid. Surprised allowed that, but I guess it is now a new precedent. I guess you didn't bother to read the comment. I asked what good getting angry did. You didn't seem to answer that, then accused me of being angry, and white and male, played the race card all at once too? Nice job. Does my profile mention what color my skin is? Why allows that crap is beyond me. But I guess now we know where the line is for future reference.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 5:28 p.m.

&quot;This kind of stuff happens to women ALL the time; not just in places where the police force is reduced. Get angry at the people who are committing these type of crimes. Go out of your way and do something about this complete imbalance for the females in your life, not just this week, but next year, etc.&quot; Will angry solve anything? You seem angry at these people, yet this still happened. Getting angry isn't a solution of any type. Perhaps a more concrete suggestion would be helpful. Males also need to be aware of their surroundings and modify behaviour accordingly. Males are almost 4x as likely to be murdered as females. Murder will also affect you for the rest of your life. Believe me, I worry about the women in my life and urge them to heed certain precautions that are generally not to be spoken of on I guess I could get angry, if you think that will help. Usually, it seems to just make matters worse and raise your blood pressure.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4:14 p.m.

This is a really bad string of crimes that needs to be solved quickly. Students and others need to heed warnings by local security departments and NOT walk alone in these areas near the campus after midnight. My wife and I have repeatedly warned our daughter (a U-M student) not go home from the library or parties this late at night by herself. But, she like a lot of other students sometimes disregards this advice, thinking it's safe or &quot;I'll be fine&quot;. These recent incidences should be a wake up call for all people to not get complacent about their personal safety. I hope that the victims will be OK.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4:13 p.m.

I guarantee if we publicized the opposite, something like what the city of Kennesaw GA did for example, creeps and criminals will find victims elsewhere.


Wed, Jul 20, 2011 : 7:47 p.m.

hmmmm....doesn't Switzerland require every house have a weapon and someone in the household have military or weapons training? Very low gun crime rate there I think..also rice, I can't tell you the number of times the dog and I have walked with young ladies late at night by themselves and I on more than one occasion paid for a cab to take a young lady home that could not defend herself in any manner. But then again, I always look people right in the eye as they approach me and say good evening or whatever, holding your head up, eyes forward and aware telegraphs that you are not vulnerable...


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 7:21 p.m.

Yes they passed an ordinance where every able head of household was required to keep a firearm and ammunition for it in their home. LOTS of publicity on that BUT the ordinance was never meant to be enforced. The result? See below. Doesn't take any real changes to implement this. No actual additional guns either. What's required is the courage to say no more, we will and can defend ourselves. Ever and always will the wolves fear that more than any weapon. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 7:05 p.m.

Kennesaw passed a local ordinance requiring every head of household (with certain exceptions) to maintain a gun and ammunition.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 5:51 p.m.

Can you explain what they did in Kennesaw? As 2WheelsGood suggested, not everyone is familiar with this.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4:51 p.m.

Not sure of Diane Rehm but I'm fairly positive it has gotten at least passing mention on NPR on occasion. While I'm sure it'd be a shock to some, I do listen to NPR also.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4:33 p.m.

Very few people know about Kennesaw. The people of this town only listen to NPR, and, well, let's just say Diane Rehm isn't going to be talking about it.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4 p.m.

Lee, If a reader suggests that people be careful you delete the post and claim that someone was blaming the victim. The police suggest it, you report it. Which is it?

Jen Eyer

Fri, Jul 22, 2011 : 5:39 p.m.

Alan, It depends on how the &quot;suggestion&quot; is worded. The ones that we took down were clearly pointed at the victims. Others that were more general were allowed to remain.

John A2

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 3:52 p.m.

It doesn't matter what the cops are doing. The word is out that A2 has cut their police force and that in it's self will attract this kind of element. A2 is full of wealthy people and vulnerable students. Basically, we put our guard down. We need to get the cops back on the streets, and heavily publicize it. WHO LET THE DOGS OUT!


Wed, Jul 20, 2011 : 7:38 p.m.

@Mich res &amp; alum.... yea, they do know, an armed robbery last year was timed so as to happen close to shift change. And this element of society does case locations where there is an inkling of vulnerabillity. Do you think a serial criminal is going to perpetrate a crime where there is a strong showing of law enforcement personnel? That only happens in the movies where the crimes are easy to solve and the criminals act in the open....


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 5:04 p.m.

Has the UofM cut their police force?

Mich Res and Alum

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4:23 p.m.

Not that I disagree with the general sentiment of your comment, but do you really think these criminals are aware of the layoffs and/or follow the local news?


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4:15 p.m.

With the recent [maybe a month ago?] lay-off of 4 cops and the upcoming cuts first of the year, as much as another 10, I do see the Emerald City becoming ripe for the crime pickins...thank you to the powers that be...for, if at any time I feel threatened, I will go stand in front of Ugly Hall...or hide behind the new art piece.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 3:36 p.m.

Thank you for posting this story. Since it describes a serious safety risk to women in the city, I'm disappointed that it's not listed as the lead article or otherwise made more prominent on the site.