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Posted on Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 6:29 a.m.

Woman sexually assaulted Monday morning on South State Street

By Lee Higgins

This story has been updated with this report: Ann Arbor police urge vigilance after rape Monday morning and two weekend attacks

A woman was sexually assaulted this morning in an alley in the 700 block of South State Street, a University of Michigan police crime alert said.

The woman was walking about 12:40 a.m. when a man grabbed her, pulled her behind a wall and sexually assaulted her, police said.

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. Ann Arbor police are investigating the assault, which occurred off-campus, across from Weill Hall. Police spokeswoman Lt. Renee Bush did not immediately have further details this morning.

Meanwhile, police continue to investigate two other assaults Friday night and Saturday morning that may be related to each other based on the description of the suspect. About 11 p.m. Friday, a 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.

Also, about 2 a.m. Saturday, a man grabbed a woman from behind in the 900 block of Greenwood Avenue, lifted up her dress and fondled her, police said. She also broke free.

In both of those cases, the man 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.

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



Tue, Jul 19, 2011 : 11:50 a.m.

Ann Arbor better re-think getting rid of their police officers. What the H are they thinking anyway? Maybe it should happen to some of the counsel members, THEN it would be a different story!!! Hopefully the girl that was attacked will be OK.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 6:56 p.m.

How many violent attacks on one small street need to occur before the police decide to make patrolling it a priority? The population of Greenwood Avenue may be largely, if not excusively, undergraduate, but that certainly doesn't mean that it doesn't deserve the same amount of protection as any other area of Ann Arbor. It is clearly a target.

marcus kash

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 3:41 p.m.

do you guys really think having a thousand cops on the road would of stopped this? its so hard for a cop to be at the scene of the crime while its happening look at the statistics.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 3:28 p.m.

Ypsidame, your clarification of (choice of word) "intimate" is appreciated; however, "intimate" has connotations of warmth, familiarity - not usually associated with violence and aggression.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 3:22 p.m.

So where's all the commenters that like to point out that 'the descriptions all sound the same' when the suspect is black?

John A2

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 2:59 p.m.

I disagree, if these people had tried to brandish a gun the perpetrator would be carrying it as we speak. When someone attacks from behind, you have little defense, and if you pull out a gun the chances are that you will be shot with your own gun. The best thing to have is an immobilizer like pepper spray, keep it in your hand while walking alone. If someone attacks from behind then lift your hand and point it and spray. After they let go then keep spraying them until the cops get there. Kick them in sensitive spots if needed.


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

I'm sorry John, this is simply not true. Pepper spray is a joke, records show it is taken away and used against the victim far more than guns are, not to mention it is extremely hard and time consuming for a woman her purse, find said spray, unlock the safety, then aim and spray it accurately. Not even worth considering IMO! A concealed pistol comes out of a convenient holster in under a second or two, during that initial "scuffle for your life". You know, I can go on and on here with facts and the hard truth, but won't. The trained and experienced know the deal, the arm chair pontificators (not claiming you are) well...not so much.

Tony Dearing

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 2:43 p.m.

Comments were removed because they violated our conversation guidelines. Please do not post comments that blame the victim. Thanks.

John A2

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 2:28 p.m.

Well, I can't help but to say I told you this kind of thing would happen if the cuts took place. It's simple arithmetic. Less cops = lower chances of being caught There's a lot of people who are broke and depressed, and don't care about themselves. If they don't care of themselves, then why would they care of others?


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

It might seem obvious. But the only thing obvious is people will jump to conclusions and not consider facts just to advance their argument.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 2:50 p.m.

John, Study after study has shown no correlation between police staffing and crime rates, contrary to what many take as a given. The landmark study was in Kansas City. Many others have been done across the country, some noting the effects of increased or decreased staffing on crime rates within a community, others comparing different communities. Always the same result. Police staffing levels do not correlate with reduced crime rates.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 2:17 p.m.

Remember folks, your mayor is "comfortable" with the cuts to public safety departments.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 2:13 p.m.

NOBODY is more upset that we cut police while keeping dead weight throughout city &quot;government&quot; than I am! But people have to take their own personal safety serious enough to take precautions. In 1999 there were 243 assaults in Ann Arbor In 2009 there were 177 assaults in Ann Arbor <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Are we ahead of the 1999 pace? Unless you can prove with data the numbers are increasing don't cry wolf.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 2:05 p.m.

My sympathies to this person, she was not at fault but a victim of a predator. IMO, patrolling cops are not the solution, as they rarely cruise side streets let alone back alleys as reported in this story. A million cops on patrol can't stop the criminal element, they (crooks) don't care about law. What they do care about is themselves, the typical perp of crime is a lowly coward, concerned only for their own well being and safety. This is why we all must take the responsibility to protect ourselves. Be it using some forethought and not going down a dark alley alone at night, staying in groups, or being self defense trained, or my personal choice (now that I'm old and all that karate training leads to my own broken bones) a big, loud, nasty, fire breathing, equalizing, personal carry pistol. No matter how many law enforcement officers may be patrolling the fact still remains, when seconds count, the law is only minutes away!


Tue, Jul 19, 2011 : 2:38 a.m.

At AK3647, Actually you're off. You can own a handgun at 18. You just can't buy it from a dealer. Also they can carry it openly without a CPL many places that a CPL holder actually concealing can not.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4:59 p.m.

Ricebrnr has it down perfectly. Sometimes I forget about the sheeple attitude of Ann Arborites, I thought my comment went without stating the obvious..silly me. John A2 you got it half right, pepper spray has never worked unless sprayed upon your food to spice it up. AK3647 valid statements all the way, my point being....if the coward criminal element hears more and more about people arming themselves, fighting back, better yet poppin n droppin em, crime goes down..waaaay down. I realize it's tough for some to face the truth, the truth being ,and verified time and time again,...more guns = less crime! One simply cannot ignore the facts presented by the FBI and DOJ (look it up). Crime has fallen off into the abyss since the death grip of gun control has been released.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4:28 p.m.

The victim in this story is 18-years old. The woman who was grabbed by Community High School over the weekend was 19-years old. You need to be 21 to get a concealed weapons permit. So no, carrying a gun was not even an option for them, since it's illegal. It's also illegal to carry a gun into a bar or to be in possession of one while intoxicated, regardless of whether or not you have a permit. Where do you think these kids were coming from at 2am on a weekend? I'm sorry, but &quot;carrying guns&quot; is not a viable solution amongst a bunch of undergraduate college students. Most aren't old enough to carry a gun. The ones that are old enough can't have guns in the dorms or on university property. And they REALLY can't take them to the bars with them on a Friday or Saturday night. The whole CCW argument is pointless here.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4:26 p.m.

@ JohnA2. This is why you: 1) get training and utilize several weapons depending on circumstances and distance 2) stay aware, stay aware, stay aware 3) DON'T BRANDISH. If the situation legally and morally warrants drawing a defensive sidearm, use it.

John A2

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 2:54 p.m.

I disagree, if these people had tried to brandish a gun the perpetrate would be carrying it as we speak. When someone attacks from behind, you have little defense, and if you pull out a gun the chances are that you will be shot with your own gun. The best thing to have is an immobilizer like pepper spray, keep it in your hand while walking alone.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 2:08 p.m.

Guess I forgot another option, since pictures are worth a million words, just look at my profile picture.....


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 1:44 p.m.

5ft 6 to 5ft 7 is close but the one today 6ft 5 inches is almost a foot taller.

Mr Blue

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 1:41 p.m.

Where were the UM campus police?


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 1:40 p.m.

Here's a significant cut back. With the cuts to the police department, they do not have a Special Investigations Unit that would have been all over this in the past. AAPD also had a special response team (Uniform) that would have been assigned to increase patrols. Additionally, call out of detectives in numbers to get the critical canvassing of the neighborhood probably did not happen. Detectives will be assigned to this case with priority, BUT due to the low number of detectives AAPD now has, other crimes will go uninvestigated or delayed. Yes there is a huge impact to the response AAPD can give to this crime. The Officers who are out there will do the best possible job to find this scum, and they will, but the city fathers have impacted AAPD's response and placed our city at risk!


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 1:46 p.m.

Self defense class or concealed carry permit would help. Remember Help is just minutes away when seconds count.

Stupid Hick

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 1:14 p.m.

&quot;The man was described as white, 6 feet, 5 inches tall, with brown hair and brown eyes.&quot; &quot;Meanwhile, police continue to investigate two other assaults Friday night and Saturday morning that may be related.&quot; &quot;In both of those cases, the man was described as having an olive complexion. He was 5 feet, 6 inches to 5 feet, 7 inches tall&quot; Is the most recent attacker 6 foot 5, or 5 foot 6? Is the description a mistake, or would Lee please clarify the reason for reporting the assaults Friday and Saturday may be related?


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 1:56 p.m.

May be related to each other, not this one.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 1:47 p.m.

while the height discrepancies may be a typo I will say that some people are bad at judging height. Additionally if he grapped from behind it would be harder to judge. Some of these woman may be petite or after being attack someone would seem to have been 6'5&quot; and a really big (monster) to have done this. I know as a female whenever a man hugs me from behind it usually not while standing tall, he usually nuzzles into my neck meaning he has to come down to my height of 5'6&quot;, even if he is well over 6 ft tall. One thing to remember is, they don't usually release ALL of the description of the suspect. There is probably something that all three victims noted about the attacker that the cops will use to identify similar reports on attacks being connected or not, or false reports for that matter. (tattoo, breath, accent, piercings, shoes etc) there was a peeping tom/flasher a few years ago, I think he ended up being a football player, one item that wasn't reported in the description that was released to the media before the guy was caught, is the guy had really muscular legs.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 1:11 p.m.

In Havana the Committee for The Defense of the Revolution (CDR) maintains a network of watchers to maintain security. There's at least one on every block. In multiple family dwellings, there is an additional one in every building. Similar groups operated in the old Germany from 1935 to 1945, and in the old Soviet Union from 1925 until, well, who knows? Now, the Cubans, the Germans and the Russians were, of course, happy, joyous and free. We can go that route and get busy building some camps in Alaska or someplace to house malefactors. Only the illusion of control is provided by anything less than the establishment and maintenance of a police state. Or, until this lone lunatic is apprehended (and, at 6'-5&quot;, there's little reason to believe there are two of them) we can strongly suggest that lone females be encouraged not to walk alone in the vulnerable hours.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 1:07 p.m.

Nobody is saying we need a police officer for every one resident, but the drop in the number of police officers is VERY noticeable on the streets. Case in point, there is practically NO visible police presence downtown on Friday and Saturday nights. So between 2-3am, you've got a thousand drunk people wandering around and there's nary a police officer in sight. Is it any wonder then that many of these crimes happen during this time, with students as the targets? The attempted sexual assault on Greenwood happened at 2am Saturday morning and the aggravated assault on Hill St occurred at 2:30am Sunday morning...right after the bars closed. Each time the target was an undergraduate student probably coming back from the South University bars.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 1:05 p.m.

Unfortunately, the &quot;halo effect&quot; of a police car cruising down the street, touted repeatedly by departments seeking to reduce foot patrols, has been shown to be ineffective - across the board. Doesn't correlate to reductions in crime, having more cars out there. But the psychological effect on potential criminal acts of wide-spread publicity concerning police cuts has not been studied, far as I know. Is someone more likely to go out and do something dastardly if he's been reading for months about police layoffs? It would be interesting to know. And I agree: each report of a violent crime ought to be routinely accompanied with a brief statement of the police resources that were available during, say, the 60 minutes before and after. If AAPD and the University don't have that information, they have a serious hole in their Enterprise Resource Planning systems. [note: that last sentence was what we call &quot;irony,&quot; a widely used rhetorical technique, not to be taken at face value.]


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 12:27 p.m.

Blaming the AAPD is silly. Unless you want 1 officer per resident things will happen. Double or triple the number on patrol and my guess is that there still wouldn't be an officer in an alley near Weill Hall to happen upon an assault. They tend to patrol where most of the people are.

City Confidential

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 2:14 p.m.

Or, we could blame the perpetrator for sexually assaulting someone. Why is always someone else's fault - victim, police, society? This guy chose to do this! HE is the one to blame!


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 12:57 p.m.

There are 350 miles of road and over 100K people. I don't disagree that police presence contributes to security but it only dissuades. There will always be areas and times of day that are more prone to crime than others and blaming the police every time a crime occurs is nonsense.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 12:49 p.m.

Yeah, I agree with the cat. Get the police out there. Walking, riding bikes, whatever. Too many police just stay in their cars. There's benefits to that of course but there are costs as well.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 12:45 p.m.

A tougher police presence and more aggressive prosecution of perps would help. Law and order are deteriorating everywhere, not just in A2. The priorities of cities are screwed up when police are being laid off while there is money for non-essentials such as fountains, etc, which are nice, but not necessary when the resources are severely limited. How about some cutbacks on fat benefits of top administrators, who should join the rest of us who have crappy private sector benefits. That might save some police jobs.

City Confidential

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 12:26 p.m.

I just don't understand what makes some men decide that it's okay to do this to another human being. Sexual assault is so personal, so intimate. It takes a special kind of animal to do this... I hope that he is caught soon and that he is actually prosecuted and convicted! In the mean time, I hope we are all talking to our sons, brothers, male friends, etc about what sexual assault does to individuals and to society. Primary prevention isn't about what the survivor did or didn't do, it's about what the potential perpetrator decided not to do.

City Confidential

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 7:20 p.m.

And considering that my comment comes after the &quot;women can expect to be victims if they are stupid enough to walk around at night&quot; type of comments that came following the first round of sexual assaults against women by men, this is more of a commentary on placing blame where it should be placed - on the perps, not the victims, not the police, etc. Where were all of the comments about how men shouldn't walk at night because of all of those rapist women prowling the streets? Oh yeah, that's a little unrealistic. But thanks for bringing out the political correctness, 80. We don't get enough of that around here.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 3:12 p.m.

@trs80 Considering that ypsidame was commenting on a specific crime which involved a man assaulting a woman, I think her choice of gender pronouns is appropriate. Also, although women are capable of sexual assault, it is still primarily a crime where men are the aggressors and women are the victims. Less common are sex crimes where men are the aggressors and other men are the victims and the least common of all are sexual assaults where women are the aggressors and men are the victims.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 2:35 p.m.

**I just don't understand what makes some WOMEN decide that it's okay to do this to another human being. Sexual assault is so personal, so intimate. It takes a special kind of animal to do this... I hope that she is caught soon and that she is actually prosecuted and convicted! In the mean time, I hope we are all talking to our daughters, sisters, female friends, etc about what sexual assault does to individuals and to society. Primary prevention isn't about what the survivor did or didn't do, it's about what the potential perpetrator decided not to do.** Made a few edits as you seem to place blame on on gender while denying the other is similarly capable of such atrocities. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

City Confidential

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

When I was writing I was also thinking about how the perp has to be so personally close to his victim, unlike a robbery, for instance, where there can be a few inches or feet between them. Sexual assault is intimate in that it is up close and physically personal - it can't happen at a distance.

City Confidential

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 2:05 p.m.

Intimate, adjective, meaning very private and closely personal, as in this violent crime is one that effects the survivor in a deeply personal way because her most private self has been violated in a horrifying way. It is intimately violating. Apparently, you scanned the words, without reading any context, saw the word &quot;intimate&quot; and assumed I meant that I thought rapists caress and cuddle with their partners? Both of you thought this? Really?


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 12:45 p.m.

Intimate? How about personal violation? The majority of sexual predators are mentally disturbed to some degree, usually from a childhood &quot;trauma&quot;. The assault is a form of &quot;revenge&quot; and has nothing to do with sexual desire.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 12:41 p.m.

Sexual crimes are about aggression and violence and have nothing to do with intimacy. These thugs are animals and need to be put away for life.


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

So how many cars (not just cops, but actual cars) were on patrol last night at the time of this? The AAPD and the city know exactly how many patrol cars were on the street. We have an opportunity to get a good understanding of what the city has promised (that police services are sufficient). Has anyone asked for that information? Maybe more cops wouldn't have done any good here. Who knows. But I don't remember the last time there were 3 suck assaults in such a short time. Do we have sufficient numbers on patrol to cover the city while also pursuing this guy? I dont want to hear just a &quot;yes&quot;. Five us the numbers? How many payrol units were out there? 15? 10? I would think that there would be enough to handle a large out of hand situation (while also having some free to respond to other emergencies)., will the city give you this I formation? It would be good to hear so that we can assess whether we feel comfortable with that number or not. Also, during that time, how many officers were busy with other things? Where they really doing mostly traffic stops like some suggest? How many traffic stops occurred around the time of the assault? What other activities were going on? How many cars were off the road doing paperwork? Lunch break? What was the response time once the call came in? I've said this before, but this series of incidents would be an excellent opportunity to do a detailed breakdown of activity level at the aapd with their current staffing. Especially since it is a summer evening. It should show that there were plenty of officers on the street because they have to be able to also handle things in the winter when the students return. Personally, I don't think any more cops would do much to deter this guy. Hes not thinking abiut how many cops are on the street. But it definitely would help put some heat on catching him.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 12:09 p.m.

Absolutely terrible ordeal for this young lady, sympathies to her. I'm guessing that 7 officers working patrol last night (or 1 per 16,000+ residents, not including students) might not have been enough. AAPD used to have patrol car after patrol car driving down State Street just patrolling, how many of these types of incidents did they stop over the years? No one will ever know if this could have been prevented, but the chances of prevention would have be greater with more cops. Now......................not so much. Good luck citizens!! This young ladies family should sue the city for failure to protect.

Ken Boyd

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 5:35 p.m.

This young ladies family would be better served providing and obtaining firearms training and licensing. A CPL is the best defense a person can have when dealing with a lawless street environment.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4:01 p.m.

The police are not our bodyguards. They can't be in all places at all times guarding all people. People must be ready to defend themselves (I'm speaking in general - not commenting on this particular story.) And you're right, It shouldn't be that way, but it is that way. &quot;When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.&quot; Good Night and Good Grief


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

Correct me if I am wrong, but people have tried to sue municipalities for failure to protect and the judgments in all of the cases establish a precedent that the police have no obligation to protect us. I cite the following cases (I am no lawyer--I just read the summaries, so again, correct me if I am wrong): Castle Rock v. Gonzales Warren v. District of Columbia Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Department I believe the police do their best, but that the quality of protection will vary at every moment based on the staffing available, the level of morale, the individual drive and moral code of the officers on duty, the technology available to the department, etc. ... and yes, LUCK--you have to be in the right place at the right time.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 1:34 p.m.

Also the Supreme Court has already ruled that municipalities and authorities are not responsible for the protection of individuals. A lawsuit as you suggest would be thrown out before it got started. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> And some of you wonder why us gunnies look to ourselves for protection first?


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 12:48 p.m.

Why do you say 1 per 16,000+ residents, not including students? Students are counted in the census as Ann Arbor residents unless they are commuting from Novi, etc.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 12:29 p.m.

Lawsuits against the city aren't the answer. Voting for representatives who'll prioritize basic services like police over glamour projects like high-speed rail is the answer.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 12:05 p.m.

If the attacker is approximately 6 feet 5 inches tall, that should be a big help in identifying him.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 11:57 a.m.

Well I hope there are still some cops that haven't been laid off to deal with these kinds of problems...

David Paris

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 11:53 a.m.

Ann Arbor is not one big peach tree where you can just reach out and grab a handful at will, I hope these perps are caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. In this heat, taking a nice cold shower would have a dual effect!