Alan Neves, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake Community College issued a safety alert after police say a man groped two women on the South City Campus.
The incidents allegedly happened May 16 and May 28 on the campus at 1575 S. State, according to the Utah Highway Patrol. The women were alone at the time, with one incident taking place in a hallway and the other in a stairwell, police said.
"During the conversation, (the man) asked for a hug and touched these female students inappropriately,” UHP trooper Scott Pruden said.
Investigators are reviewing surveillance video where the two attacks allegedly happened.
"It's quite possible he's a student because he's been here at least twice,” Pruden said.
Investigators say the women gave the same description of the man — an African-American in his mid-20s, 6 feet tall, with a thin to medium build.
Police declined to say whether the two women are students at SLCC.
“I know in the summertime here there aren’t a ton of students, so it makes it a lot easier for instances like that to happen,” SLCC student Miranda Wilson said.
Another student, Lisa Hancock, said her sense of security was shaken after she heard about the assaults.
"I come to school to feel safe, so I was shocked to hear that. I wouldn't know how I'd react,” she said.
Hancock said she usually doesn’t pay attention to her surroundings because she is either on her phone or worried about her tests, but that will change.
“I’d definitely be more alert,” she said.
Adults aren't the only ones who roam the halls at the college. Innovations High School is connected to the building, and students there also take classes at SLCC.
"It's very concerning to us,” Pruden said. “That's why we're trying to get the word out because these things do often escalate."
Police say it’s important for students to be aware of their surroundings, and if someone sees something suspicious or if something like this happens to them to use the emergency phones around campus that call 911.
Police said the two victims reported the groping incidents the day after they happened. They are urging people to report such cases immediately so officers can start looking for the suspect right away. Anyone who believes they may have had contact with or been assaulted by the same man is asked to call 911 or UHP at 801-957-3800.
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