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Campus alert issued after masked man pursues woman at U of U

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Posted at 10:25 PM, Apr 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-17 00:25:28-04

SALT LAKE CITY --A campus alert was issued at the University of Utah after a female student was pursued by a masked man on campus Tuesday night.

The student was leaving the Marriott Library when the incident occurred around 11 p.m.

Police officials said a man in a ski mask approached the student in the parking lot. The woman saw him and got inside her car, locking the doors just as he approached. The suspect allegedly tried to open the driver side door of the woman's vehicle.

Sgt. Mike Richards of University of Utah police said the woman made it away from the scene.

"She started immediately to start honking the horn, and she put the car into reverse and drove away, and as she was doing that she could see the suspect running towards the field house," he said.

Police said the woman did the right thing given the situation. The suspect is described as a white male who stands about 5-feet 10-inches tall. Police said they are reviewing surveillance footage and hope to provide a more specific description in the future.

Officials sent out a campus alert to students, and U of U police have increased their patrols of parking lots. Officials encouraged students to stay in groups and in well-lit areas. They said anyone who feels unsafe can call University police for an escort to and from buildings or vehicles.

Anyone with information about the suspect or the alleged crime is asked to contact police at 801-585-2677.