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'It is pretty scary:' Two assaults reported in two days near UWM campus

Posted at 9:27 PM, Nov 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-13 00:03:04-05

MILWAUKEE — Two assaults in two days near the UW-Milwaukee campus has students on alert. The incidents are happening right around the lunch hour.

"It is pretty scary," said Millicent Reyes, UWM junior.

"It's really terrifying," said Samatha White, UWM sophomore.

That concern was echoed over and over after UWM reported the women in both cases were grabbed from behind and lifted off the ground.

Monday's assault happened in the 2700 block of N. Frederick Ave. UWM said that an unknown suspect grabbed the victim from behind and fondled her.

The latest incident happened Tuesday around 12:30 p.m. in the 3100 block of N. Oakland Ave. The suspect came from behind the victim grabbing and lifting her off the ground.

"UWM does Safe Alerts and when I got that alert I saw it and I turned just right back around and went back to the Union and decided to take a bus home instead of walking anymore because I didn't feel too safe," said Reyes.

UWM Police

The university put out this statement regarding the assaults:

"UWM is very concerned about these assaults near campus. The safety of students and other members of our campus community is of paramount importance. UWM police are working very closely with Milwaukee police, who are leading the investigation. The university offers several measures to keep our campus community safe. These include a full-time police force that patrols campus around the clock, the Be On the Safe Side (B.O.S.S.) ride service, escorts for pedestrians in the SAFEWALK program and the Rave Guardian app, which offers virtual escorts."

Students said they are taking their own precautions.

"I've been told not to wear headphones anymore and just to have my pepper spray in my hand," said White.

"We planned on walking together," said Gracie Wargo, UMW sophomore, talking about the friend she was walking down the block with. "I think it's more important walking in groups."

"Now we have to be aware of our surroundings more and more everyday," said Kiley Niemeyer, a UWM sophomore.

The suspect is described as black male that's 6-feet tall and between 20-25 years old. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with a North Face Jacket over it that had a logo on the back right shoulder. The suspect was also wearing olive green cargo or regular pants.

The Milwaukee Police Department is investigating and said the two incidents are similar. You can call the Milwaukee Police Department Tip Line, (414) 935-7360, if you have any additional information about the incident.