by Sarah Mirk
A Portland State University student reported an absolutely terrifying crime this morning:
Monday November 26, 2012, at 3:14 a.m., Portland Police responded to Southwest 10th Avenue and Market Street on the report of a sexual assault.
Officers arrived and contacted the victim, a female adult in her 20s and Portland, and learned that she was walking to her dorm at Portland State University from the area of Southwest 10th Avenue and Yamhill Street. She remembered a man following her and that she was hit over the head, then woke up in an alley behind her dorm at Southwest 10th and Market.
Medical personnel responded and transported her to a Portland hospital for treatment. The victim is a student at Portland State University. The very limited suspect description is a white male, possibly wearing a dark jacket and jeans, mid-30s, shaggy light brown hair, pronounced cheekbones, and an unshaven face.
The victim did not know the suspect. Multiple police officers, including a Police K-9 Unit, have searched the neighborhood but have not located the suspect.
Anyone with information about this sexual assault is asked to call the Portland Police Bureau's Sex Crime Unit at (503) 823-0400. Anyone with emergency information should call 9-1-1.
This crime happened to occur right in the midst of Portland State's consideration of a proposal to create its own police force, in part because of the way the school handles sexual assaults. While the area is patrolled by Portland police, PSU sometimes has only two security officers on duty for the whole campus. The current proposal would increase PSU's security staff and have sworn, armed police officers on campus at all times, rather than just security guards. In the past three years, reports of sexual assaults on PSU's campus have increased from two to eight.
In this morning's case, the student contacted campus security, who called 911. Police responded quickly because it was a "crime in progress." But if the student had waited until tomorrow to contact security, she would likely have wound up waiting two to three hours for an officer to take her statement.
UPDATE: Police have released a sketch of the suspect. He looks alarmingly like Wolverine. Please call the police if you know anything about the crime.