Audio of 911 call from groping incident at USU released

Posted at 9:18 PM, Jul 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-31 09:03:52-04

LOGAN, Utah --A newly released 911 call reveals a frightening moment for a Utah State University student.

"I was just running, and someone attacked me I guess, tried to grope me I guess," the 19-year-old student told a police dispatcher.

She said she went on a 5-mile jog Saturday night that started at 8th East, 10th North in Logan and ended at USU's Old Main Hill, where a stranger approached her.

Caller: "I was about to run the stairs, and it was right at the top of the stairs."

It happened around 9:15 p.m.

Dispatcher: "Did he say anything to you?"

Caller: "Yeah, he came up to me and tried to make small talk and he was like 'Are you out for a good run?' And I said, 'yeah,' I thought it was really weird so I was gonna keep running and then he just grabbed me."

Steve Milne of the Utah State University Campus Police spoke about the incident.

"It appeared like he tried to kiss her, and that's when he started placing his hand up her shirt," he said.

Students are stunned the alleged attack happened in such a popular spot on campus.

"There's people on the stairs all the time, there's people on the grass reading," USU student Jackie Peterson said.

"There were other people nearby, but not in that immediate area they were at," Milne added.

The victim said she fought the suspect off.

Caller: "I ran towards the TSC, and he ran the opposite way."
Dispatcher: "OK, are you injured?"
Caller: "No, I'm fine. I just wanted to report it."
Dispatcher: "I'm glad you did."

"We blocked the hill off and brought in K9s, and Logan City assisted us," Milne said. "We searched the hill and didn't find anyone matching the description."

Caller: "He was older. He looked like a maintenance man. He was wearing worker clothes."

She told police the suspect was in his 30s.

"About 5'6", 5'7" short brown hair, a couple days facial growth," Milne added.

He also wore a white or gray sweatshirt or a dirty T-shirt with blue jeans.

Campus police officials said what's distinctive is that the suspect had a speech impediment and gaps between his teeth. If you can help cops find him, please call USU police at 435-797-1939.

"It certainly could've been much worse, and we're happy it's not," Milne said. "We don't have these occur a lot up here."

Back in January, there were 16 reports of groping at BYU. USU officials said they're not dealing with anything like that. This was an isolated incident. Campus police hope it won't escalate.