URBANA — Police are looking for a man who attacked a University of Illinois student in her home early Saturday.
Urbana police Lt. Bryant Seraphin said the 23-year-old woman was pistol-whipped in the head and face by a man she did not know shortly after 4 a.m.
She was treated for cuts and a broken cheek bone at Carle Foundation Hospital and later released.
Police believe that attack is related to another incident in the same block that happened about 90 minutes earlier.
About 2:30 a.m., police were sent to check on a prowler outside a house in the 400 block of South Busey Avenue, which is just east of Lincoln Avenue and south of Green Street.
A 21-year-old woman was in the bathroom when she heard a voice outside the window. She opened the blinds and said hello and spotted a man who raised a silver handgun and tapped the window with it, Seraphin said.
She closed the blinds and ran back to the common area and told other people in the house what she’d seen. A man ran outside to confront the prowler, who took off.
Witnesses in that incident described him as a black man wearing a light colored — perhaps yellow — sweat shirt and jeans. Police didn’t find anyone at that time.
At 4:11 a.m., Seraphin said, police were called back to an apartment in that same block just a few doors away.
The victim reported that she was in bed when she awakened to see a black man wearing a yellow shirt, who was less than 6 feet tall, standing there.
“She was literally attacked by this man. She was pistol-whipped in the head and face and he tried to turn her on to her belly. She believed she was going to be sexually assaulted and she began to fight,” Seraphin said.
“She kicked. She punched. She did everything she knew how to do. He is continuing to fight with her,” said Seraphin, who added the woman was certain the attacker had a handgun.
“This went on for several minutes. She was able to get out of her room and fell across the threshhold when another roommate opened her door, saw the victim on the ground, and dragged her into her bedroom. They shut and locked the door (of the other room) and he left,” Seraphin said.
Police believe the attacker entered through the woman’s bedroom window, which was found open and the screen removed.
Seraphin said the woman, about 5 feet 5 inches tall and 130 pounds, did not recognize her attacker.
Anyone with information on possible suspects is asked to call Urbana police at 217-384-2320. Information can also be submitted anonymously to Crimestoppers at 217-373-8477, online at www.373tips.com or by cellphone text message by sending CCTIP plus the information to CRIMES (274637).
Crimestoppers will pay a reward if the information leads to an arrest. Cash rewards are also paid for information on other felony crimes or fugitives in the Champaign County area.