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Long Beach City College assault suspect sought

A search is under way for a man who allegedly assaulted a woman in a restroom at Long Beach City College.

September 16, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
An all out search is under way in Long Beach for a man who tried to rape a woman on the campus of Long Beach City College.

The attack took place in the women's bathroom at the math and science building on Carson Street at Clark Avenue on Thursday.

Police released a sketch of the suspect Friday afternoon. They don't know if he is a student at the college or if he is someone who merely came onto the campus and tried to sexually assault an 18-year-old student.

"Fortunately she was able to fight him off and he fled," said Nancy Pratt from LBPD. "She did sustain some injuries which she was treated for at a local hospital and then later released."

The victim helped police with a sketch of the suspect. He is described as African-American, 18 to 25 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall, with a thin build.

Microbiology teacher Robin Arias was leaving her lab Thursday night as paramedics were helping the victim.

"It was reassuring that she was up and moving around, up and talking, which is good," said Arias. "Just an unfortunate situation, so I am just glad she is OK."

Teachers and students say that they feel safe on campus. But the fact that a man tried to sexually assault a woman in the main building while class was in session is alarming.

"It's one of the most common buildings on campus," said student Jeannette Castro. "To think it happens at night like that, on one of the main buildings, where there is a lot of people because there is night classes. It's really frightening."

LBCC wants students to feel safe. They are advising students to use the buddy system or use a campus escort when walking to the parking lot at night.

"Thanks to the officers, it was an unsuccessful attempt at sexual assault," said Mark Taylor from LBCC. "But we pride ourselves at maintaining a very safe campus."

The last time an incident like this happened on campus was five years ago. But officials said that the suspect in that case had a completely different description from the suspect in Thursday night's attack.

If you have any information, call police at 562-570-7236.

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