The Collegian would like to inform its readers that the content in this article may trigger those affected by sexual assault.
Friday morning at approximately 12:15 a.m. Fort Collins police were notified of a sexual assault adjacent to campus.
The victim, a 22-year-old CSU student, was driving westbound on W. Lake St. when an unknown male waived her down. The suspect approached the driver’s side of her car and, armed with a knife, physically removed her from the vehicle, according to a Fort Collins Police Department (FCPD) press release.
“The male pulled her to the side of the road near the railroad tracks and sexually assaulted her,” FCPD stated in the release. “During the struggle the victim bit the suspect’s left shoulder and scratched his forearms. The victim was not injured and did not require medical attention.”
The victim was able to fight the subject off and he ran eastbound from the area.
This is the third sexual assault or attempted sexual assault that has occurred on CSU’s campus within the last two months.
On Sept. 13, a male student was attacked at Jack Christiansen Track by a man in a ski mask. On Oct. 24 a female student was assaulted in the same location by a man in a ski mask wielding a knife. No arrests have been made in any of the three cases.
“People are having a heightness of anxiety and being triggered by what’s going on,” said Kathy Sisneros, director of the Women’s Gender and Advocacy Center.
Police have not confirmed these attacks are related or if there are multiple perpetrators. FCPD is working with CSU Police Department (CSUPD) to find any connections between the cases.
“Fort Collins police and CSU police are working together to compare these cases and look for what similarities there are and see if there are ways, by joining forces and compairing information, they might be able to help solve these crimes,” said Mike Hooker, executive director of CSU Public Relations.
Immediatley following the October incident, CSUPD conducted a safety assessment and increased police presence in the area around the Jack Christiansen Memorial Track. According to Hooker, there was some lighting added and trees trimmed in response to visibility issues.
“We’re very concerned about these attacks and very interested, one, getting these crimes solved and two, making sure that whatever can be done to make areas of campus safer, that we’re doing those as well,” Hooker said.
There are campus resources available for students who need a ride home, who don’t want to walk across campus alone or who are in need of support.
“Come into our office. We’re happy to do extra safety planning with people and just take care of them and help them process through what they’re feeling and experiencing,” Sisneros said. “We know that that’s deeply real for a lot of people on campus right now.”
Collegian Campus Editor Kate Simmons can be reached at email@example.com.