St. Joe's University alerts students of aggravated assault

- Saint Joseph University says police are now investigating Tuesday's incident as an aggravated assault instead of a sex crime. 

 

"Our Public Safety folks have been informed that police are no longer pursuing this case in the sex crimes category," said St. Joe's VP of Marketing and Communications Joe Lunardi. "For now, it is being considered aggravated assault."

Initially, the school alerted students about an attempted sex assault and attempted abduction.

 

"I do make this walk everyday but I try to keep an eye out," said Alex Kranic who walks a route not far from the 5800 block of Overbrook Avenue to and from Saint Joe's University.  It's where police got a report from a student saying two men tried to sexually assault and abduct her.

"It's always surprising to hear but it's not uncommon around here. It happens more often then I'm sure we'd like," said Kranic.
 
Saint Joe's Public Safety sent out an email alert to students late Tuesday night about the incident reported to them by Philadelphia Police. It states that around 9:15 Tuesday night a student left campus and was walking when she says two men forced her into a parking area and pushed her up against a wall.   One of the men had a gun.  The student told police she screamed for help and the men ran off.
 
"It was shocking.  My friends after I walked to school actually told me about it cause it's so close to here and I walk by there all the time so it was just something that doesn't seem kind of real," said Crystal Johnson.  She and Tara LaBarca usually walk together.  They feel it makes them less of a target but they're still concerned.
 
"I was like should we be afraid to walk home it's only 7 o’clock. We shouldn’t be afraid to live in this area. These attacks have been getting progressively earlier in the nigh time as well," said LaBarca.
 
Philadelphia Special Victims Unit is handling the investigation.  They've been going door to door asking neighbors if they saw anything.
 
"We're working with college police to recover any surveillance video that may have captured it," said Captain Mark Burgmann.

 

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