Police say a University of South Carolina student was sexually assaulted early Saturday morning on campus. That has other students worried, but also upset because the school did not send out an emergency alert to let them know.
“I feel like just an alert that, even if they don’t know exactly what’s going on, just would have been nice, just a warning,” says USC freshman Cara Kelley. “I wasn’t out that night, but I know a lot of my friends were and that kind of scares me that it could have been any of them.”
According to USC, around 3:45 a.m. Saturday morning the victim was talking to a man she didn’t know near the corner of Barnwell Street and Gibbs Court, which is near the Capstone House dorm. The man told the victim he had a weapon and forced her to a nearby area where he sexually assaulted her. Police say the victim then went to her apartment and told her roommate to call 911. The victim later went to the hospital for treatment.
USC did send out a crime bulletin almost 12 hours after the assault, saying, “An emergency notification was not issued because the information at the time of the report was not specific enough for the community to act on.” The bulletin describes the attacker as a man of unknown race, 5-feet-5 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds and between 20 and 30 years old.
USC freshman Sarah Wiggins, who lives in Capstone, says, “It happened right near where I live, maybe a block, so yeah, it’s scary that it happened so close.”
She understands that USC didn’t send an alert because there wasn’t enough information for people to act on, but says, “I think any information is better than none, so even just an alert that there was a crime here and it was a high-risk crime. I mean, I think that would be beneficial, more beneficial than nothing.”