Student reports incident that may be linked to earlier sexual assault at U-M
A University of Michigan student reported over the weekend she was touched by a man who may match the description of the suspect in a groping incident last weekend, campus police said.
The woman said a man approached her about 6 p.m. Friday while she was at the Michigan League, 911 N. University Ave. She said he spoke Chinese to her and they walked to an outside bench by the Modern Language Building, 812 E. Washington St.
While they were talking, he rubbed her thigh and grabbed her cell phone, police said. She managed to get the phone back and left the area.
The man is described as a Chinese man about 5 feet 8 inches tall and about 25 years old. He had short black hair and thick accent, he said. No clothing description was provided.
The woman reported the incident to University of Michigan police at 11 p.m. Friday.
While the contact between the man and woman in this case does not amount to an assault, University of Michigan police spokeswoman Diane Brown said the incident is similar to one reported Aug. 31 at the Ruthven Museum, 1109 Geddes Ave.
In that incident, an 18-year-old student said a man followed her around and rubbed her elbow and grabbed her buttocks.
The woman said her attacker was a 5-foot-7 Chinese man with short hair and an average build with a clean and neat appearance and a thick native Chinese accent. The assault occurred between 5 and 6 p.m.
Brown said the latest incident does not appear to be related to two other groping cases that occurred over the Labor Day weekend.
In the first assault, an 18-year-old woman told police that she was grabbed on her leg and chest by a man while at Michigan Stadium on Sept. 1.
The woman was at the stadium, 1201 S. Main St., watching the school's football game against the University of Alabama on the stadium's scoreboards, Brown said.
She said the man who groped her was Asian, was about 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighed about 180 pounds with a stocky, muscular build. He had short hair and was clean-shaven with a round face. She said he did not have an accent and was wearing a baseball hat, light pink shorts and blue sunglasses. The woman did not know the color of the man’s shirt.
On Sept. 3, a 19-year-old woman reported being sexually assaulted by a 5-feet-6 inch tall Asian man about 2:45 a.m. while walking in the 1800 block of Washtenaw Avenue. The man, who was wearing a baseball hat, approached her from behind and grabbed her crotch and chest, she said. He fled the area on foot after the woman screamed, according to police.
Police are still investigating the incidents. Brown encouraged anyone who is assaulted or inappropriately touched or sees suspicious behavior to call police right away.
“Then, we have a better chance of perhaps finding the person still in the area, but if you don’t call right away, but it keeps nagging at you, still go ahead and call the police,” she said.