By Melanie J. Knox, Opinion Editor
A female ACU student was assaulted near her house on East North 23rd Street while walking her dog at 10:45 a.m. on July 18.
The white male, described as in his early-to-mid twenties, parked his dark vehicle in front of the student, got out and engaged her in friendly conversation about her dog. When he asked if he could pet the dog, the student said she began to feel that something wasn’t right, according to Jimmy Ellison, chief of police.
When the man stood up, he grabbed the young woman in a frontal hug, trying to kiss her face and grabbed her buttocks. She resisted and managed to push him away. She turned and ran and he did the same.
“The whole incident lasted only a few seconds,” Ellison said.
When the assault was reported to the ACU Police Department, they immediately checked the area and notified the Abilene Police Department, who sent patrol units as well. Nothing developed from the search, and no similar incidents have been reported.
Ellison publicized the event to the university community, as campus police are required by law to notify the university of anything that could potentially pose a risk.
“The young woman was not injured or traumatized, and fortunately the assault was not more severe than it was,” Ellison said. “I think this served as an eye-opener to remind people that it’s still important to let people know where you’re going and to walk and jog in numbers.”
In addition, Ellison said students should carry cell phones, whistles or pepper spray with them.
“I want to stress that we work hard to maintain a safe campus,” Ellison said. “ACU and the surrounding neighborhoods are safe. We want the students to know they can be comfortable on campus, but to be cautious as well.”
The campus is patrolled 24 hours a day, and the APD supplements campus police by regularly patrolling the neighborhoods around the campus.
Ellison encourages students to report any suspicious activity immediately to campus police at ext. 2305.