SANTA CRUZ — UC Santa Cruz police on Monday released a sketch of the man who beat and raped a 21-year-old woman as she was walking on campus Sunday afternoon.
University police continued to investigate the attack Monday, assisted by detectives from the Santa Cruz Police Department. Extra patrols were being conducted on- and off-campus in an effort to locate the suspect.
The brazen, daytime attack had some students worrying about on- and off-campus safety. The campus was quiet Monday because classes weren't in session for the President's Day holiday but many students took to social networking websites to talk about the incident.
"There was a rape on campus while I was at home," student Samantha Cruz posted on Twitter. "Seriously, what the hell is going on? I no longer feel safe in Santa Cruz."
The 21-year-old woman, who is not a UC Santa Cruz student, was walking along a wooded path between the Upper Quarry amphitheater and the Classroom Unit buildings around 12:30 p.m. when she was attacked. A man struck her in the head and torso multiple times and sexually assaulted her. The suspect, described as a white man in his 30s, fled toward Steinhart Way.
The amphitheater and Classroom Unit buildings, which are used as lecture halls, weren't in use Sunday, according to university spokesman Jim Burns, who did not know why the woman was on campus.
The woman called 911 from her cellphone and was taken to Dominican Hospital for treatment.
There are about 60 emergency phones located throughout the 6,088-acre campus.
An alert was sent out to UCSC students and faculty through the Cruz Alert system, and also was posted on the university's website. It included a full description of the suspect, believed to be about 5 feet, 10 inches tall with a stocky build, dark hair and green eyes. He had a mustache and goatee, and was wearing blue jeans and a dark blue T-shirt at the time.
"We want to assure the community that we are doing everything possible to investigate these crimes, and keep the community safe," UC Santa Cruz Police Chief Nader Oweis said in a statement to student and faculty. "We also want to remind you that resources are available to help members of our campus community manage and cope in stressful situations such as these."
Students can access counseling and other services through the university's Student Health Center by calling 831-459-2628. Counseling support is available for staff and faculty through the Employee Assistance Program at 866-808-6205.
The attack comes about a week after a 21-year-old UC Santa Cruz student was shot in the head and robbed while waiting at a bus stop on Santa Cruz's Westside around 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 11. In that incident, the woman was robbed of her laptop and wallet. She's been released from a hospital and is recovering at her family's home.
Representatives from the campus and city police departments plan to hold a public forum on campus Wednesday evening to discuss the incidents.