WIU students and police remain on edge after weekend sexual assa - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

WIU students and police remain on edge after weekend sexual assault


Police at Western Illinois University say they're doing all they can to hunt down two attackers after a reported sexual assault on campus early Sunday morning.

Campus Police say the attack happened just after midnight Sunday morning when a female student was walking alone down the steps between the University Union and Knoblauch Hall.

The males are described as slim, with a muscular build, between 6'-6'3". There were no other identifying characteristics given. No weapons were reported.

Now, students tell WGEM they're scared to even walk around their own campus.

It was the talk of campus Monday at Western Illinois University.

A sexual assault over the weekend.

But it's not a crime the campus is unfamiliar with.

In fact, WIU ranked 20th on Business Insider's list of Most Dangerous Colleges in 2012 with eight forcible rape cases in 2011 and the same in 2012.

Some students say they aren't surprised to hear of the most recent attack.

"It's been kind of common out here, so we're kind of used to it," said Brittany Tillman.

"It makes me scared it definitely makes me think twice about being on campus late at night," said Julie Shepherd. 

While others say they're on edge.

"That same weekend I was out on a Friday night until late at night, so just thinking I was in a sort of similar situation walking across campus, it's a little nerve racking," said Rosetta Rubino.

Director of Campus Security Scott Harris says there are no strong leads in the case right now.

And with the attacker still at large campus police are beefing up patrols.

But they're also asking students to keep their eyes peeled.

"There's only 25 Office of Public Safety officers, and that's adequate to do the job, but we have a campus population of 10,000 people, that's 10,000 sets of eyes, so if they see something suspicious, a couple of guys hanging around where they shouldn't be, something going on, give us a call," said Harris.

While police continue to look for the attackers, Harris asks students be pro-active when it comes to safety.

He says be sure to take advantage of the student escort program and walk in groups.

Harris says if you ever feel unsafe, call the Office of Public Safety, and they'll send an officer.

The Office of Public Safety reminds the campus community to report suspicious activity immediately. Individuals with information about this incident should call Public Safety at (309) 298-1949, Macomb police at (309) 833-4505 or Macomb Area Crime Stoppers at (309) 836-3222. Individuals can also send information to the Macomb Police Department's anonymous Text to Tip service by texting the word MPDTIPS along with the information to CRIMES (274637).

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