Oct. 13, 2006
UI Police, Iowa City Police Release Sketch Of Suspect in Assault Cases
The University of Iowa Police and the Iowa City Police Department are asking for the public's help in identifying the person or persons that have been involved in several assaults or attempted sexual assaults in Iowa City.
Since Sept. 17, the Iowa City Police Department has received seven reports of assaults or attempted sexual assaults; these cases remain under investigation.
On Sept. 20, 2006 a composite sketch of a suspect was released, and this sketch is being released again with a request for assistance from the public to help in the investigations. The sketch may be viewed as a PDF file at: http://itsnt166.iowa.uiowa.edu/uns-archives/2006/october/images/101306suspect-composite.pdf. Anyone with information that could aid in these cases should call the Iowa City Police Department at 319-356-5275.
In addition to investigative efforts, the Iowa City Police patrol division has been conducting and will continue to conduct directed patrols in and around the areas and neighborhoods where the assaults have been reported. The use of marked and unmarked squad cars, as well as officers patrolling on foot and bike, are being utilized with the intent of identifying persons who are acting suspiciously in these areas. The University of Iowa Police will assist as needed.
The public is asked to call the Iowa City Police or the University of Iowa Police, as appropriate, if they observe anyone acting in a suspicious manner off or on the UI campus respectively.
Violent crimes by strangers in public areas are rare and account for a very small part of recorded crime in the Iowa City area, say Chuck Green, director of the University of Iowa Police, and Sam Hargadine, chief of the Iowa City Police Department. However, they give these tips to enhance personal safety:
--Everyone has the right to live free of unwanted attention, harassment, and abuse.
--You will be safest in well-lit areas where there are groups of people.
--Look and act confident while you are walking, be aware of your surroundings, trust your instincts and don't be concerned about appearing rude if you feel threatened.
--There is safety in numbers; make it a habit to walk with others.
--If you regularly jog or cycle, vary your route and time. Stay on well-lit roads and main paths with open spaces where you can see and be seen by other people. Avoid wooded areas and adjust your routine to daylight hours if possible.
--Recognize that the use of a cell phone or personal stereo may distract you from paying attention to your surroundings and persons acting suspiciously.
--Avoid consuming alcohol or other substances that may impair your judgment or your ability to react to a confrontation.
--Let someone know when you are intending to leave and arrive at a particular destination.
--If you think someone is following you, go to the nearest place where there are other people and/or a place that is well lit. If you have a cell phone call the appropriate police department for assistance: (Iowa City: 319-356-5275 or UI: 319-335-5022). If you have speed dial capabilities, program these numbers into your cell phone. It is important to know your location when calling anyone for assistance so they know where to respond. Of course, in cases involving emergencies, call 911.
SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.CONTACT: Iowa City Police, 319-356-5275; University of Iowa Police 319-335-5022. Writer: George McCrory