Volume 95, Issue 28

Tuesday, October 23, 2001
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Two Fanshawe students attacked

The world at war

Long wait for beer money... err... OSAP

Call psychic Bob: Western plans future

Tainted water study sickens Walkertonian

Harris leaving; lefties still pissed

More Western Anthrax scares

Two Fanshawe students attacked

Fears spreading of sex stalker

By Kristina Lundblad
Gazette Staff

A string of attacks on three females, including two Fanshawe College students, has police asking all London women to be on alert.

"There is a possibility [the perpetrator] is the same person," said Det. Sgt. Dean Lees, head of London Police Department's sexual assault squad. "But there is nothing concrete that connects all three."

According to police reports, the first attack took place shortly after 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 11 in the parking lot of an apartment building on Second Street, near Oxford Street. A 19-year-old female was attacked from behind as she exited her vehicle.

The woman fought off her attacker and the perpetrator fled when another vehicle entered the lot.

On Oct. 18, at approximately 5:30 a.m., the LPD responded to an apartment on First Street after a female reported she was woken by a male lying on top of her.

The victim fought with the suspect and chased him out of her apartment. She was not sexually assaulted.

LPD are also looking into a third attack that occurred this past Friday at approximately 6:30 a.m..

A resident on Leroy Avenue heard noises coming from a nearby walkway and discovered a 33-year-old female had been stabbed and suffered head trauma.

Two of the victims were Fanshawe College students, police said.

"There is definitely a dangerous person out there," Lees said, also issuing a public appeal to anyone who knows of anything related to the incidents to report to LPD.

Since two of the incidents involved Fanshawe students, the college has increased security and initiated an extensive awareness campaign, said Emily Marcoccia, an employee in managing and communications at Fanshawe.

"We have issued a safety alert – a notice that the assaults have taken place in north London and in the vicinity of Fanshawe College," she said.

"There is very much a concern among students," Marcoccia said, adding a few students' parents have called the college with concerns.

Fanshawe is also providing counselling for anyone in the school's community, such as friends of the victims or those who are emotionally distressed over the incidents.

Marcoccia said security at the school's student residence has been increased. She said she encourages students to lock all doors and windows and let roommates know of each other's whereabouts.

"We're following this case very closely – these attacks are of particular interest because they involve students at Fanshawe," said Insp. Bob Earle of the University Police Department.

Earle said while UPD has not taken any extra safety precautions, they have adjusted patrol patterns to include more remote and darker areas. He stressed students should have a more heightened awareness about safety in general.

–with files from Erin Conway-Smith

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Copyright The Gazette 2001