UT Austin attempted kidnapping: DPS troopers asked to patrol West Campus following uptick in crime

An attempted kidnapping of a UT student happened near the intersection of 27th and Nueces early Sunday morning.  

FOX 7 was told the student was not severely injured when she escaped a few blocks away. The student had been grabbed and thrown into a car. Her screams were heard by nearby private security officers, according to Joell McNew with SafeHorns.

"You have a short period of time, a window to get away, and that is the goal. If you're in a situation like this, you've got to draw attention to yourself. Make a lot of noise, fight back and get away," said MCN.

Police only have a vague description of the Sunday morning kidnapper. Authorities said he was driving a dark, late model sedan, possibly a Lincoln Town Car. An alert about the attack was sent out to UT students like Abigail Thomas.

"Just a little nervous, but like, otherwise, feel sorry for whoever got kidnaped," said Thomas.

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Thomas said she is being more prepared. A noisemaker is a good way to be prepared. McNew demonstrated a device that gave out a loud alarm. Recognizing it is a signal for help is also important. If you don't have any protection devices, McNew says, improvise.

"A pen can be carried anywhere with you. Once you're walking, especially if you're alone somewhere and not feeling safe, you can have it in a Hammer-fist if you were attacked. You can defend yourself by targeting any soft spot on the body. Now their DNA is in the tip of the pen," said McNew.

SafeHorns is in discussions with West Campus business and property owners about setting up a private safety patrol in the area. McNew admits it will take time to do that which is why she wants the state to fill the gap.

"We're having crime every day. We need to have a bigger presence, and if it isn't with the university police or Austin police, then we begged DPS to come back over here and be a presence in our community while we work together to collaborate to create the changes that we want to see," said McNew.

The last time Governor Greg Abbott sent trooper patrols to the UT area was back in October 2020. It was in response to an increase in robberies and home invasions.