Student escapes assailant

A female student was assaulted on the Whitworth campus near Hawthorne Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 21. She was attacked while walking to a morning class along the east side of the building between Hawthorne Road and the fence along Division Street. A lone white male wearing disheveled clothing grabbed the student from behind and tried to abduct her. The student did not see him coming but reacted quickly. In close contact with her attacker, the student fought back with a knee to the groin. She continued to defend herself until the man ran away in the opposite direction of campus. She then entered Hawthorne Hall where security and the Spokane police were notified.

The student had received previous self-defense training that enabled her to defend herself instinctively and effectively. She did not hesitate to fight back and escaped unharmed with only a few minor scrapes.

Both Spokane police and campus security searched for the perpetrator but did not find him on the day the incident occurred.

There has been no word from Spokane police on whether any suspects have been found in connection with the incident. Supervisor of security services Mark McFall said he does not believe the police have detained anyone concerning the matter.

“If the sheriff’s department had located or developed a suspect that they believed was the assailant, we’d probably have heard about that by now,” he said.

There have not been any other reports of the attacker on the Whitworth campus grounds.

The suspect is described as an older white male with a medium build about 5’10”. He was wearing torn, ragged clothing with a green knit cap. The man had grey facial hair and was believed to be approximately 60 years old.

Students are advised to be aware of their surroundings at all times, and to report any suspicious activity or sightings of the suspect to campus security or 911 in case of an emergency.

Story by Sandra Tully Staff Writer

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