By: Gurpreet Kambo, News Team Member
SFU’s Burnaby campus community is on high alert due to an incident on the evening of July 14.
According to alerts issued by SFU News and by Burnaby RCMP, a 19-year-old woman was walking in the forested area on the northwest side of campus, near University Drive West and West Campus Road, when she noticed an unknown man following her. He approached, tried to engage her in conversation, then tried to grab her hand and pull her into the bushes.
The student was able to escape and ran to the parking lot of the nearby Horizons Restaurant, where she sought help from others. She reported that the suspect followed and continued to try and engage with her, before leaving in a grey or black Acura vehicle.
Burnaby RCMP released a sketch of the alleged perpetrator, and described the suspect as a “South Asian male, approximately 19-23 years old, 5’9, brown eyes, and wearing a black turban, blue long sleeve shirt, grey sweat pants and black sandals.”
In light of the incident, signs were posted around campus and on nearby trails, alerting community members about the assault. According to a report by CTV News, SFU has also increased security presence around campus.
Burnaby RCMP asked that anyone who might be able to identify the suspect or who may have additional information about the incident, contact them at 604-646-9999 or Crimestoppers at either 1-800-222-TIPS or www.solvecrime.ca.
Resources for students
In the event of an emergency situation on campus, SFU recommends calling 911, and/or the campus security emergency line at 778-782-4500. If the phone call is made from one of the direct-line security phones or blue emergency phones located around campus, security will be able to immediately know the caller’s location.
SFU also currently provides a 24/7 service called Safe Walk, where students can be accompanied by campus security to their destination anywhere on Burnaby campus, within a two-block radius of Vancouver campus, or to nearby bus stops on Surrey campus. To request a Safe Walk escort, call the Campus Security non-emergency number at 778-782-7991
Students who wish to access counselling and support services can call SFU’s Women’s Centre at 778-782-3870, SFU’s Health & Counselling Centre at 778-782-5781, or SFU’s Sexual Violence Support and Prevention Office at 778-782-7233.