UNLV students shaken after attack on campus - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

UNLV students shaken after attack on campus

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A sign shows the logo of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. (File/FOX5) A sign shows the logo of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. (File/FOX5)

Police at University of Nevada, Las Vegas warned students Thursday to keep their guard up after a woman was reportedly attacked on campus earlier this week.

According to an alert sent out by UNLV police, a woman was walking westbound on Harmon Avenue toward Lot L, where her vehicle was located, just after 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Someone grabbed the woman from behind by her shoulders and also struck her in the back, police said. The student was able to escape, however. Police did not mention any injuries as a result of the attack.

The incident, which was reported to police on Wednesday, remains under investigation.

Police described the alleged attacker as a black male, 5'10" and clean shaven. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.

The motive of the incident remained unclear, as of Thursday. However, the police department originally believed the attacker was going for the woman's belongings.

"She initially was attacked from behind and she had a backpack on," said acting assistant UNLV police chief, Jeffrey Green. "So the initial thought from her was, 'Maybe he was trying to take my backpack.'"

Green also believes it was an isolated incident.

Despite that belief, students on Thursday were shaken to hear about the reported attack.

"Being right on Maryland Parkway and this being an open campus, I'm always looking over my shoulder when I'm walking," said student Rio Lacanlale. "I just have to be really vigilant when I'm walking."

Another student, Idania Ramirez, observed the vast size of the campus calls for people to take a lot of time getting from classes to the parking lots.

"It's scary to think that something can happen to us," Ramirez said.

With finals on the way, Green said the library will be a student hot spot, which should have added patrols in the coming weeks.

"Library hours will be extended, but, more importantly, we think it's necessary to increase our patrols in that area," Green added.

UNLV police gave the following suggestions to students and staff to stay safe while on campus:

  • Always remain vigilant regarding your surroundings when walking to and from your personal vehicle.
  • When possible, try to travel in pairs when walking to your vehicle.
  • Campus escorts are available by request by calling UNLV Police Services 24 hours a day at 702-895-3668.
  • Pre-program the number for University Police in your cell phone for use in an emergency: 702-895- 3669. Remember: when you dial 911 from a non-campus phone, you are calling the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and their officers will take longer to arrive to help you than University Police.

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