CORVALLIS – A new suspect sketch Tuesday showed a masked suspect who may have attacked two Corvallis women earlier this month.
Last Saturday night, a woman was attacked and assaulted by an unknown man wearing a ski mask, police said.
Police said the incident was similar to another attack that happened just eight blocks away, on the Oregon State University campus, on Jan. 16. Police said Tuesday it was possible both were committed by the same man.
In the most recent attack, the OSU student was walking from her home to her vehicle around 7:30 p.m., near Northwest 29th Street and Northwest Fillmore Avenue, said Capt. Dave Henslee with Corvallis police.
The suspect came up from behind her and tackled her to the ground. He then hit her multiple times in the body. After a brief struggle, the suspect fled the area, Henslee said.
Police and sheriff’s deputies responded to the area but did not locate a suspect.
The suspect was described as a white man, around 6-foot-3, with an athletic and muscular build and dark eyelashes. He was wearing a black ski mask, black athletic pants, white shoes, and a dark hooded sweatshirt. The sweatshirt had a white circle printed on the back with cursive writing going from the lower left to upper right side of the circle, Henslee said.
Monday, there were signs posted around Corvallis and throughout the OSU campus, warning of the attacks. Police said they had also increased patrols on and around campus.
"It's very scary," said Elizabeth Groth. She lives next door to the victim, who was too shaken up to speak about the attack.
Groth has a teenage daughter at home and said they have talked in length about safety, especially at night.
"We went over the whole safety thing with her and said, 'stay off your iPod and be aware of who is around you,'" she said.
The Jan. 16 attack on the Oregon State University campus occurred just after 10 p.m. and police said the two assaults had similarities.
In the Jan. attack, a female victim was knocked to the ground by a suspect with a similar description. Police were able to develop a composite drawing of him based on the woman’s memory of what he looked like. (See photo of sketch, above.)
Corvallis police were warning everyone to be constantly aware of their surroundings and to park vehicles in well-lit areas at night. They also recommended walking with other people if possible and urged people to report suspicious activity to law enforcement.
Anyone with information about either attack was asked to call Corvallis police at 541-766-6924.
The director of public safety at OSU also wanted to offer these safety tips for students and Corvallis residents:
- Always be aware of your surroundings and try to walk and park in well-lit areas at night
- Do not go out alone at night if possible; students who must come to campus alone at night should consider using the Saferide service (call 541-737-2252)
- Students who wish to have an escort at night from a campus building to their car or residence hall may call Public Safety at 541-737-3010
- Carry a cell phone and flashlight and do not wear headphones
- If you must walk alone, call someone on your phone and let them know your route and when you will arrive.
KGW reporter Wayne Havrelly contributed to this report.