Stranger assaults women after taking selfies on UT campus

(Courtesy: WATE)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Two women were assaulted by a stranger who asked to take a selfie on the University of Tennessee campus, according to officials.

One victim claims the suspect pulled his white vehicle next to her car asking her to take a selfie with him for a scavenger hunt. The victim started walking toward Humes Hall, however, the man asked again, according to investigators. The woman agreed and then the stranger groped her and fled the scene.

Investigators believe the suspect is a Hispanic male in his early thirties. He is described as being between five-eight and five-ten-inches tall and weighing 180-200-pounds. He was last seen wearing khaki pants, a dark shirt and brown shoes.

UT student Whitney Gulledge says she was shocked when she learned about the alleged incident.

“It makes me feel unsafe. It happened right outside a dorm. My dorm is right there and it happened right at that one,” said Gulledge.

UT student  Destiney Poiroux got an email from the university about the alleged incident Tuesday morning.

“I’m definitely going to watch who I talk to and if random cars pull up to me and ask for a selfie I’m definitely not going to do that because it’s the second time that’s happened just this year,” said Poiroux.

A similar incident involving a suspect with the same description is reported to have happened in February. UTPD says being aware of your surrounding is key to staying safe. If you see suspicious activity report it.  You can even use the guardian app through the UT app to speak directly with UTPD. Familiarize yourself with the blue phones in case you have to use one.

“It is scary because I’ve never personally had this happen to me but it would do something to me if someone touched me without my consent, that just does something to a person that’s why it’s such a big deal,” said Poiroux.

There was also a report of another incident of sexual battery on April 6 outside a residence hall on the east side of campus. UTPD doesn’t know if it’s the same suspect.

UTPD says if you are attacked get to a safe place and contact law enforcement immediately and preserve any evidence.

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