BOULDER, Colo. -– Campus police were searching for a man they say attempted to sexually assault a CU student overnight.
The attack happened at 1 a.m. Saturday, on 17th Street and University Avenue, north of Macky Auditorium.
The female victim was walking along University Avenue when a man approached her from behind and grabbed her. He grabbed her shirt and pulled her to the ground before she was able to get away, police said.
Denver7 visited the CU campus Saturday and spoke with students about the attack.
Sophomore Riley Sanders said she’s walked home alone several times before, in the same area the attack happened. She said Saturday morning’s attempted sexual assault has made her even more cautious about the possible danger.
Freshman Olivia Dominguez only learned about the attempted assault Saturday afternoon.
“We walk by here, especially on weekends at 1 a.m. We are always around here,” said Dominguez.
She and fellow Freshman Tiana Noble said they have combative strategies of their own.
“We always make a pact that we have to walk together with somebody, just so we don’t run into situations like these,” Noble told Denver7.
Days before Saturday’s attack, dozens of students rallied silently to raise awareness of sexual assault on-campus.
Last fall, nearly 13,000 CU Boulder students participated in a sexual misconduct survey that found nearly 92 percent of sexual assault victims failed to report attacks.
CU Boulder police spokesman Scott Pribble told Denver7 the campus has seen a rise in reports since then.
“We believe that it is because of that awareness and people are starting to hear that message that there is nothing wrong with you -- if somebody does this to you," Pribble said.
He said CU officials want to help victims transition from survivors to thrivers.
The suspect is being described as a college-age black man, standing between 6-foot-1 and 6-foot-2 with an average build. The victim told police the man had a small and shaggy beard and mustache. He was last seen wearing a CU sweatshirt and long pants.