BU Student Sexually Assaulted on Esplanade
Police urge caution in wake of attack
Officials are once again cautioning the community to be careful along the Charles River Esplanade after a BU student was assaulted early Friday morning.
The 18-year-old female, whose identity has not been released, was sitting on a bench across from the Silber Way footbridge around 1 a.m. Friday morning when she was allegedly attacked by an adult black male of slim and lanky build between 6 feet and 6 feet, 4 inches tall. He was described as having a shaved head with visible stubble and appeared to have a mole on the right side of his face and gaps between his teeth.
The woman escaped uninjured and reported the incident later that day to the Boston University Police Department. The Massachusetts State Police, which has jurisdiction over the Esplanade, has since taken charge of the investigation.
This is the first such incident reported since August 14, when another BU student was allegedly sexually assaulted on the Esplanade, just east of the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge. The unidentified upperclassman had been walking home from a nightclub around 1:30 a.m. when she was attacked.
Police officials are investigating whether the incidents are linked to an earlier spate of attacks along the Esplanade.
A statement released Sunday by the Suffolk County district attorney’s office and the Massachusetts State Police stated: “While there is no immediate evidence to suggest that this individual is the one responsible for three unsolved attacks on the Esplanade in 2007 and in South Boston in 2006, police and prosecutors are reviewing the facts for potential links as a matter of course.”
“Even if it’s not connected, it’s a dangerous situation,” says BU Detective Lieutenant Peter DiDomenica. “Another person is out there doing it. Either way, it doesn’t minimize the seriousness of it.”
In an email sent to the BU community yesterday, BUPD Chief Thomas Robbins stressed the importance of being aware of your surroundings at all times, on or off campus, and offered some safety reminders: walk with friends or others in the area, especially at night; use the University’s escort security service (617-353-4877) at night if you don’t have anyone to walk with; keep valuables out of sight; and report suspicious behavior immediately to the BUPD at 617-353-2121 or by texting anonymously to 847411, keyword BU.
While no one can completely prevent attacks, it’s helpful to keep these public safety tips in mind. DiDomenica advises that students carry cell phones in case of an emergency and that being aware of their surroundings means no headphones or long cell phone conversations.
“People that prey on victims, they’re looking for someone that’s weak, that’s vulnerable,” he says. “If you don’t pay attention, you’re more of a target.”17 Comments