UNF student reports being groped by man on campus, police say

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The University of North Florida on Monday sent an alert to students, saying that a crime had occurred on campus.

According to the notice, a student on Monday reported the incident to the University Police Department. The student said that on Sunday between 12:20 a.m. and 12:30 a.m., while walking along the wooden bridge from Osprey Fountains to UNF Drive, the student was approached by a man while heading toward the Osprey Hall.

The student told police they were grabbed from behind by a man and forced to sit down, and that they were forcibly held and groped. The student told investigators that they screamed for help, and that the man said he would not hurt them, urging them not to tell anyone what happened. The student told police they were released after approximately 15 minutes.

The man has not been identified, but the student provided a description to police. The student said he was a heavyset man, approximately 6-feet 1-inches tall with a mustache. He was wearing a black hoodie and black pants, police said.

“I got it and read it — I was really shocked to hear what happened,” student Abbey Wimberly said of the notice.

“Honestly, I was really surprised,” said student Justin Albee.

“I’m definitely not going to be walking by myself anymore,” said student Jennyfer Cadet. “I’m definitely gonna make sure at certain times at night I don’t’ come outside until the school has taken up safety measures for us.”

The Police Department asked anyone with information to contact officers at 904-620-2800. Crimes can be reported confidentially through the Police Department’s Silent Witness Program.

About the Author:

Renee Beninate is a Florida native and award-winning reporter who joined the News4Jax team in June 2021.