In wake of attack, NCSU reminds students of self-defense class

Staff writerMarch 30, 2011 

— N.C. State University police Capt. Jon Barnwell wants to talk with the student who successfully fought off a man who tried to sexually assault her late Tuesday night.

"That's one of the things I plan to do," Barnwell said today. "I plan to follow up with her to see if she had taken our self-defense class, 'Rape Aggression Self Defense.' "

The student was walking near Thomas Hall at the intersection of Yarborough Drive and Derieux Place just after 11 p.m. Tuesday when she was approached by a man who was not an acquaintance, Barnwell said.

The man attempted to put his hand down the student's pants.

"She kneed him in the groin," Barnwell said. "He let her go. She ran to her residence hall and called the police."

Barnwell and a campus spokesman both said that the women's self-defense class is one of several resources offered on campus to help empower women against sexual assault.

The self-defense class is taught by members of the campus police department. It's a 12-hour class, taken over a four-day period in three-hour sessions, and free of charge to students, faculty and staff, Barnwell said.

The police department has also partnered with the university's women's center and student health services to offer year-round classes devoted to sexual assault prevention, Barnwell said.

Soon after the attack Tuesday night, university officials and the police sent out campuswide emails and text messages to alert students and staff about the incident Mick Kulikowski, a campus spokesman said.

The police also posted a crime alert on the university's webpage.

Kulikowski said the university authorities also reminded their campus members that anyone -- students, faculty or staff -- can call the campus escort services to be escorted by a police officer from say, the library to their dorm room of they feel unsafe.

Police have not yet made an arrest in the case, but investigators are following up on several leads.

"It's highly unlikely he will make a second attempt here, but he may try to on other campuses," Barnwell said.

With that in mind, the university police department has alerted other college campuses in Raleigh and throughout the Triangle.

"We want to make them aware of the situation as well," Barnwell said.

The woman who fought off her attacker Tuesday night told police the man did not display a weapon.

The suspect is described as a white male with a light complexion and medium build, and about 5 feet, 10 inches tall. The man was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and dark shoes.

Anyone with information is asked to call university police at 515-3000.

thomasi.mcdonald@newsobserver.com or (919) 829-4533

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