Timely Warning

Published: February 14th, 2020

Category: Timely Warning-Gainesville

The Gainesville Police Department is currently investigating two separate attacks on women that have occurred in the past week. Due to the close proximity of at least one of these incidents to University of Florida properties, the following information is provided.

On Monday, February 10th, 2020 at
approximately 11:00 P.M., a woman was walking in the 2500 block of SW 35th Pl when she was attacked by a male and dragged into the wood line. The female victim was able to fight off her attacker and call for help. On Wednesday, February 12th, 2020 at approximately 7:00 A.M., another woman was walking on the trail in Alfred Ring Park, 1801 NW 23rd Ave, when she was attacked by a male and sexually battered.

The suspect in the first incident was described as a white male, 20 – 30 years old, 6’00” to 6’03”, brown / blond hair, beard, last seen wearing a dark hooded jacket with a dark cloth covering his face. The suspect in the second incident was described as a white male, 30 – 40 years old, 5’06” to 5’08”, light colored eyes, last seen wearing all dark clothing, gloves, and had a black cloth around his face. The GPD has not determined if the suspect is the same in both of these incidents.

Anyone with information about the incident, was in the area at the time of these incidents, 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.

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

Trust your instincts. If you feel uneasy or sense something is wrong, do what you can to get out of that situation or call for assistance.

Safely intervene and/or call for help if you witness disrespectful or inappropriate behavior, or a violent crime.

Plan in advance: discuss how you might do this in conversations with your friends, using different scenarios, when you aren’t facing a potential crisis.

If someone is behaving disrespectfully or making you feel uncomfortable, take steps to remove yourself from the situation early, especially if you are concerned it may become physical.

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! Your voice and body are your best weapons. Learn effective ways to use them by taking a self-defense class such as the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) and always consider bringing a friend with you.

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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