UTPD searching for ‘groper' on the Drag

- The University of Texas Police Department sent out an alert to students around midnight Tuesday about a second groping incident for October.

It happened once again along the Drag on Monday night officials said. 

“We had a female UT student who was walking near the corner of 26th St. and Guadalupe St. around 10 p.m. She was approached by a male described as an older white male in a dark t-shirt and blue jean. He approached from behind and groped her,” said Sgt. Samantha Stanford with UTPD.

Another similar incident happened earlier this month on Guadalupe, but police don't have any reason to believe the two incidents are connected just yet.

“Hopefully the community can be on the lookout and report if they see the subject in the area,” said Stanford.

Hearing the news was not surprising for student safety advocate Joell McNew.

“The more we hear of incidents occurring it just makes us angrier and frustrated,” said McNew.

McNew receives complaints from parents and students who live in west campus often. The complaints range from assaults to aggressive panhandling.

“We believe we need a citizen patrol, kind of like a Downtown Austn Alliance area,” said McNew.

A big concern for her is not yet getting results from a lighting study being conducted on the West Campus area.

“The biggest frustration we have with Mayor Adler is when we went to his office he promised there would be results in 6 months. That was Spring of 201. Within that time frame, how many assaults have we had?” said McNew.

Fox 7 Austin got an update from the Austin Transportation Department, who conducts the study.

“We received our study back from our consultant this July and we are finishing up a memo right now to deliver to mayor and council."

McNew believes UT community continues to deal with criminal behavior in west Campus. She is hoping the city can act now, so an alert on another groping, assault, or killing, won’t need to be sent out.

“Why is it that we are trending with all this crime? At 9:00 at night you should be able to walk down the street,” said McNew.

Students are encouraged to use the Sure Walk and police escort services if they feel unsafe walking alone. If you have any information about the groping suspect, contact UTPD.

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