CHICAGO (CBS) — Evanston police are working with Northwestern University to keep students safe after a series of recent attacks against women.
More police officers will patrol the Northwestern campus on foot and in squad cars after several cases of harassment against women in recent weeks.
“We are going to send our patrol officers in that area. They are going to patrol in vehicle and on foot, and we will also be sending plainclothes officers in the area, our tactical officers, to patrol that area,” Evanston Police Cmdr. Ryan Glew said.
The attacks started a couple days before Halloween, and continued for nearly two weeks.
The first incident happened on Oct. 29, when a man with a heavy Russian accent grabbed a student from behind as she was walking near Chicago Avenue and Sheridan Road, not far from the Panhellenic Sorority Quad.
On Nov. 4, another student was walking on the 600 block of University Place, on the Sorority Quad, when a man grabbed her from behind and asked for her phone number. The woman got away, and a 21-year-old man with no affiliation to the university was arrested.
Four days later, a woman was walking near Sheridan and Hinman, when two men approached her from behind. One of the men grabbed the handle of her backpack.
The woman broke free and ran away.
On Tuesday, two women reported that two men approached them shortly before 5 p.m. as they were walking near Sheridan and Emerson, and “made a rude comment to them.” When the women didn’t respond, the men “made a disparaging comment” and walked away.
About 15 minutes later, two men approached a woman off campus near Chicago and Church, and grabbed her arm. She ran away, and the men fled the scene.
“We need a lot more security. I think it’s concerning that I’m scared to walk around the Sorority Quad at like 5 o’clock,” sophomore Hannah Siegel said.
Evanston police said it’s been years since a series of similar attacks was reported on the Northwestern campus.
Police urged students to keep the volume down on their headphones while outside, so they can be aware of their surroundings. They also said students should use the Safe Ride service, which provides free transportation for students and faculty between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m.
Students also can use the SafeWalk feature on the NUhelp App to notify a friend when they’re going for a walk, so the friend will know if they arrive at their destination on time. If they don’t, the friend can call police, who can use the app to track the student’s location.