Timely Warning

Published: March 28th, 2020

Category: Gainesville Timely Warning

The Gainesville Police Department is currently investigating a sexual battery that possibly occurred near campus. Due to the close proximity of this incident to University of Florida properties, the following information is provided.

On Saturday, March 28, 2020 at approximately 6:15 P.M.., a woman was attempting to get a ride from Boardwalk Apartments at 2701 SW 13th Street, where she was offered a ride from an unknown black male. After getting inside of the vehicle the woman was taken to an unknown location, where she was sexually battered by the suspect. After the sexual battery occurred the suspect then drove the woman to Publix Supermarket at 201 NW 13th Street, where the woman exited the vehicle.

The suspect in this incident is described as a black male, 5’ 06” – 5’ 08”, bald head, last seen wearing a red shirt and black shorts. The suspect was driving a newer model dark blue Nissan Sedan (Sentra or Altima) and was last seen heading north on NW 13th Street from the Publix Supermarket.

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.

For questions regarding information contained in this release, please contact Major Brad Barber at (352) 273-3309. If after hours, please call (352)392-1111 or # UFPD (#8373) and ask to speak to a Patrol Supervisor. Major Barber can also be reached via e-mail at: wbarber@ufl.edu or see the UFPD webpage at http://www.police.ufl.edu.

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