Police: Woman attacked before Gators game at UF

Woman reports sexual battery on University of Florida campus

File photo
File photo

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A woman said she was attacked Saturday on the University of Florida campus just before the Gators football game.

According to the UF Police Department, the woman was tailgating with friends until 2:50 p.m. when the group made their way toward the stadium to watch the 3:30 p.m. kickoff.

The woman told police she got separated from her friends and was met by the suspect, who led her off Stadium Road between the Infirmary and the Florida Gym.

She said he sexually battered her. Police did provide further information about the attack.

The suspect is described as a white man, between 18-25 years old, with straight dark blonde hair. He was about 5 feet, 8 inches tall and was wearing khaki shorts.

Anyone with information about the attack or who might know the man's identity is asked to call UFPD at 352-392-1111 or use the UFPD Silent Witness link at https://police.ufl.edu/contact/silent-witness/. Those who wish to remain anonymous can also call Crime Stoppers at 352-372-STOP (7867).

Police advise caution

UFPD also provided some tips to avoid situations that could put you in harm's way, adding that "the University of Florida firmly believes that a crime victim is never responsible for another person's abuse or criminal conduct. These general safety tips are provided in an effort to assist members of the UF community."

Report criminal incidents and suspicious activities/individuals immediately to law enforcement by calling 911.

Alcohol and drugs are often used to create vulnerability to sexual assault and those who become intoxicated cannot provide consent. Be alert to people pressuring you or others to use alcohol or other drugs.

Trust your instincts. If you feel uneasy or sense something is wrong, do what you can to get out of that situation or call for assistance.

Safely intervene and/or call for help if you witness disrespectful or inappropriate behavior or a violent crime. Plan in advance: discuss how you might do this in conversations with your friends, using different scenarios, when you aren't facing a potential crisis.

If someone is behaving disrespectfully or making you feel uncomfortable, take steps to remove yourself from the situation early, especially if you are concerned it may become physical.

Avoid walking alone if at all possible.

Always be alert and aware of your surroundings. This is particularly true if you are wearing headphones and may not be able to hear someone near or behind you.

If someone bothers you, don't be embarrassed to attract attention to yourself. Yell! Your voice and body are your best weapons. Learn effective ways to use them by taking a self-defense class such as the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) and always consider bringing a friend with you.

Stay in well-lighted areas, away from alleys, bushes, and entryways.

If a driver stops to ask directions, avoid getting close to the individual or vehicle.

If a vehicle appears to be following you, turn and walk in the opposite direction. You should go to a location where other people are and get assistance.

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