UPDATE, 2:33 p.m.: “This is not about gender,” Stump said. “We don’t know what this may or may not escalate to.”
People on campus are distracted every day, Stump said – she said they must be more aware.
“We do have a situation here, obviously,” she said.
To the suspect, Stump said, “We’re coming after you… One way or the other, this group is not going to stop.”
UPDATE, 2:29 p.m.: Stump said,”We need to step up… This is a pattern of repetitive behavior… and this guy is running when there’s a struggle… We need a break. We need eyes and ears. We need assistance.”
Kratzer said some student organizations to be trained by the police, such as the UF ROTC, have come forward to provide nighttime assistance beginning tonight. The number of police and SNAP vans on campus will also increase.
UPDATE, 2:25 p.m.: Dave Kratzer, the UF vice president of student affairs, reiterated the resources available to students and parents to stay alert, such as the Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol (SNAP), the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) program and the Sexual Assault Awareness Week beginning on campus. Efforts are “being ramped up” to keep students safe.
UPDATE, 2:19 p.m.: Stump estimates about 60 police officers were present on the UF campus after Sunday night’s attack.
“This is a very large campus,” she said. “And we have a limited amount of resources.”
These incidents are occurring in a short period of time. Stump said the community should remain vigilant and work together with the authorities.
GPD Chief Tony Jones said GPD is deploying extra officers on and around the UF campus. Jones asks the community to call authorities about any suspicious persons or activities.
UPDATE, 2:10 p.m.: UFPD Chief of Police Linda Stump said “we have a couple common denominators” in these cases. The victims prevented these attacks from escalating when “they fought, they yelled, they defended themselves. And they did it very well.”
UFPD Public Information Officer Ben Tobias is now outlining the details in the cases.
“None of these women have been sexually assaulted,” Tobias said. Attempts, however, were made to reach that point.
Original Post: Due to four assaults reported on or near the University of Florida campus in the past two weeks, the UF and Gainesville police departments have scheduled a press conference for 2 p.m. today.
UFPD and GPD were investigating three incidents of women being grabbed and battered by a suspect of similar description as of Friday. On Sunday at around 9:40 p.m., another assault occurred near McCarty Hall on the UF campus. Whether the incidents are connected has not yet been absolutely confirmed.
According to a note by GPD on Facebook, “There have been multiple reports of attempted sexual battery around UF Campus either near University Avenue or SW 13th Street. We are fairly certain that the same suspect is responsible for incidents 1 and 2, and possibly 3.”
This is a developing story. WUFT News will have a live stream available as well as updates online as more information is released.
Please call UFPD at 352-392-1111 with any tips or sightings of the suspect.