MINNEAPOLIS - The University of Minnesota has issued a crime alert after a college student was a victim of an attempted kidnapping near the intersection of University Avenue SE and Oak Street SE around 12:10 a.m. Wednesday.
According to the Minneapolis Police report, a woman was walking alone on University Avenue when she was approached by two men in a dark blue sedan.
A suspect in the passenger seat of the car asked the woman if she needed help, and when the woman declines the suspect got out of the car and confronted her on the sidewalk.
The suspect grabbed the woman by the arm and pulled her toward the car. When the woman tried to defend herself with pepper spray, the suspect pushed her to the ground and used the pepper spray on her. The woman screamed and the suspects drove away eastbound on University Avenue.
Police say the suspect is described as a black male between the ages of 20 and 25 years old, approximately six feet two inches to six feet four inches tall with a medium build and medium complexion.
Police say the suspect was wearing a black, knit stocking cap and a black puffy jacket.
No description is available for the driver of the car.
Minneapolis Police are investigating this crime.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Minneapolis Police Tip Line at 612-692-8477.
Recently, a group of University of Minnesota students started an online petition that demands an increased police presence on and near campus.
The University released this statement Wednesday:
The safety of students, faculty and staff remains the top priority of the University of Minnesota. Since this morning's report, University Police have been in regular communication with Minneapolis Police, who are investigating the report.
University Police will continue to have extra officers working in the evenings throughout the Thanksgiving holiday weekend - both in marked law enforcement vehicles, as well as part of an undercover robbery suppression detail focused on preventing crime on and around campus.
In the past two weeks, University Police officers have logged more than 110 hours of overtime, Boynton Health Service has expanded the Gopher Chauffeur service and UMPD officers have engaged in on and off-campus enforcement activities that have resulted in dozens of stops and 21 arrests. In addition, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Department has provided and will continue to provide support.
Students on campus during the holiday weekend are reminded to walk in groups, be aware of their surroundings and call for a free security escort at any time day or night at 612-624-WALK (9255). Note that the Gopher Chauffeur will not be available this weekend in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Service will resume on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013.
Anyone observing a crime, or experiencing an uncomfortable or unsafe situation are reminded to call 911 immediately and provide as much detailed information about the situation as possible. By working together, law enforcement, students, faculty and staff will ensure a safe environment on and around campus.
No additional comment or interviews will be available during the holiday weekend unless safety circumstances change. Any inquiries about this case or general efforts underway by Minneapolis Police to keep neighborhoods surrounding the University safe should be directed to the Minneapolis Police public information officer.
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