UAA campus sees peak in break in, assault crimes

A male student was assaulted before entering the Student Union last Thursday morning around 10:00 a.m. The student’s name has not been released by the University Police Department.

The victim was not seriously injured; the attacker struck him in the neck as the he passed and then continued on his way. While friends may horseplay around in this matter, the student and the assailant were strangers.

“Talking to the victim, it definitely wasn’t playing around,” said UPD Deputy Chief Brad Munn.

UPD searched the Student Union and adjoining buildings following the assault but did not locate the assailant.

“We’re not sure if he’s still on campus or not, but that’s why we put out the campus wide alert urging people to be careful,” Munn said.

Munn did confirm that witnesses were present but that no one stayed to give their report to the officers that arrived on the scene. The intent of the assault is still unknown. The assailant did not take money nor threaten the victim in any way.

An email sent out to the Anchorage campus community described the attacker as a “white male between 6’–6’2” with short blonde facial hair and “buzz cut” hair, and was wearing blue jeans and a black hooded jacket.”

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The assault occurred in the midst an ongoing investigation into several car break-ins that occurred in the UAA Residential parking lots this last week. The break-ins occurred between the evening of Monday, Oct. 24 and ended sometime Tuesday morning. Nine separate individuals have come forward to report break-ins into their vehicles so far.

Detective Virginia Jaksha, who is leading the break-in investigation, admits the circumstances are unusual.

“We usually get them sporadically every now and then,” Jaksha explained, “but it’s not normal to have so many all at once.”

In an attempt to catch the student behind the car thefts, UPD is patrolling the housing parking lots. But at this time, the best thing for students to do is to keep their iPods and wallets inside the house.

“Make sure your cars are locked, don’t keep any valuables in them,” Jaksha advised students.

When considering both the high amount of break-ins and the recent assault, the UAA campus might seem unsafe to students at the moment. But Jaksha is not overly concerned at this point.

“It’s unusual for right now, but I don’t think that necessarily means there’s an increase in the overall crime rate,” Jaksha said.

UPD is asking anyone who sees someone matching the description of the assailant, or who may information regarding the car burglaries to come forward.

UPD can be reached at 786-1120 or through their office in Eugene Short Hall on UAA campus.