Timely Warning

Published: March 2nd, 2018

Category: Timely Warning-Gainesville

The following information was reported to the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) and is being distributed to the campus community due to the crime’s close proximity to the University of Florida campus:

The GPD is currently investigating a sexual battery that took place early Thursday morning after the victim, a UF student, left the midtown area of 1700 West University Avenue. According to information provided by the GPD, the victim had been drinking with her friends at a midtown area bar. Sometime after 2:00am, she left her friends and the establishment and attempted to arrange for an Uber ride home. It was at that time she met an individual, believed he may have been her Uber driver, and left with him. After she was driven out of Gainesville and taken towards the city of Alachua, the victim demanded to be let out of the vehicle and was subsequently left on the side of the roadway (US 441). A short while later, another vehicle approached the victim, picked her up, and she was sexually battered. After being sexually battered, she was once again released on the side of the roadway where she was later located and law enforcement was notified.

The only suspect description provided to the GPD is that of a black male, early 30’s, and he was driving a dark colored Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV).

Anyone with information about the incident or who may know the suspects identity is asked to call the Gainesville Police Department at 352-955-1818 or text keyword GPDFL plus your tip to 274637 (CRIMES). Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 352-372-STOP (7867).

The UFPD firmly believes that crime is never the fault of the victim. These general safety tips are provided in an effort to assist members of the UF community.

Report criminal incident and suspicious activities/individuals immediately to law enforcement by calling 9-1-1.

If you are using a ride service such as Uber or Lyft, ensure you verify who your driver is before getting into the vehicle.

If at all possible, walk and/or stay with known acquaintances until you arrive safely home.

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!

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.

Always try to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.

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