RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Middle Tennessee State University students are taking personal safety precautions after a woman reported a sexual assault near the Davis Science Building.
The victim told police she was walking through the parking lot at 8:30 p.m. Monday when a male suspect ran up behind her and grabbed her backside. He is described as being tall, thin and wearing a gray hoodie and dark pants.
Police believe the suspect immediately ran away toward Walnut Grove.
Freshman Josie Jones said almost everyone is talking about the incident.
“I don’t know what I would do if that happened to me,” Jones said, “As a woman, you constantly have to look around you. I feel like you shouldn’t have to do that.”
For protection, Jones said she always tells a friend where she is going and keeps her head on a swivel.
University police are encouraging students to walk only in well-lit areas. They offer free self-defense classes throughout the year.
Freshman Jalen Everett said he thinks people are not taking sexual assault seriously enough. Everett is one of the dozens of men who are offering female classmates a safe walk home after dark.
“We’ve all dropped our numbers in case they want someone to walk with them,” Everett said, “If you feel unsafe, call me. I’ll walk you where you need to go.”
Everett had a message for the suspect.
“What would your mom think if she found out that you were out here doing something like that?”
Police were still working to identify a suspect. Anyone with information should call them immediately.