Man being sought in UNC Charlotte sex assault case

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A man is being sought in connection with two sexual assaults that occurred in the University City area Sunday.

According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, a woman in her 20s was reportedly sexually assaulted inside a residence hall on the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's campus on Darryl McCall Circle around 8 a.m.

The victim told campus police that the man reportedly gained access inside her residence hall in Greek Village and made a "lewd comment" at her. The man then allegedly ran towards the victim and sexually assaulted her before fleeing from the hall, campus police said.

"There are people on the loose that are attacking females and we are 90% female here in Greek Village," said UNCC student Kelly Atkinson, who lives in the Greek Village. "I really didn't sleep well last night. I would say that much."

School officials say the suspect gained access to the lobby of the residence hall after asking the victim to hold the door for him because it was raining.

"Honestly, I would probably do the same thing. I was taught to hold the door open for people. I am not going to judge someone by the way they look," said Sarahan Moser, a UNCC student.

School officials say all residence halls remain locked and only a special key can unlock the doors.

"We have these special keys and if you don't have a key you can't get in. The door will not open," said Juan Galindo, who lives in the Greek Village. "I was in shock."

Hours later, a second woman, who is in her 40s, was reportedly assaulted "in the same manner" in the parking garage of the University Crossing Apartments on University City Boulevard, according to police. Officers say a man approached the woman, sexually assaulted her and then fled from the scene.

"You think it is safe, but to hear something like that is really scary," said student Courtney Patterson. Patterson lives at the University Crossings apartments. "I have a night class so that makes it even worse knowing that I have to come back here when it is dark."

Police are trying to determine whether the same man is responsible for both incidents. He is described as a black man who is in his 20s, officers say. He is around 5-foot-9, with a thin build and a medium complexion, according to police.

The university released an alert to students Sunday and said the man was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, dark pants, black shoes and a knit beanie.

"I have my mace in my backpack and am checking around whenever I walk around," said Moser. "You just are not expecting something like that is going to happen."

According to the university's statement, a person who matched the description of the man was reportedly last seen walking in the Mallard Green Apartment complex. Campus police said officers lost sight of the man and he has not been seen since.

CMPD plans to increase patrols in apartment complexes near the school following these alleged assaults.

Campus police encourage any student that feels uncomfortable to use the emergency call boxes located across campus. A police officer can escort you to where you need to go.

If you have any information, you can call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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