POSTED: Saturday, December 1, 2012 - 12:00pm
UPDATED: Monday, December 3, 2012 - 11:56am
EL PASO — A lot of UTEP students are on alert after police said a stranger inappropriately touched a female student near campus.
"It makes me feel insecure more knowing that I'm a woman," said student Abril Ozorio.
Students are concerned after hearing the news.
Police said the man grabbed the woman on her buttocks and crotch area in the parking lot of the Taco Bell on Mesa and Blanchard at about 9 p.m. Wednesday. Many students eat at the off campus restaurant during their lunch break or walk through the area to get to class.
"At night when we get out of class or we meet for homework, I don't think we'll want to stop here knowing that there's this man around this area," said student Jazmin Lara.
Armando Zamora said something needs to be done to protect students.
"We need more security and stuff because it's right here on campus," said Zamora.
Fortunately, the victim was not injured and the man ran off.
He's described as a Hispanic male in his 20s wearing a gray sweatshirt, blue jeans and carrying a camouflage backpack with a Go Army logo.
"It's kinda scary and creepy knowing that this man is walking around touching people. That's not appropriate,” said Lara.
It's not the first time something like this has happened. On November 7, a man grabbed a woman's buttocks area inside the Sun Bowl parking garage.
We asked if students they will walk in this area alone.
"No, because it worries me that something can happen to anyone and anyone could be me," said Ozorio.
UTEP police released the following safety tips:
· Use well-lit walkways and buildings
· Use the "buddy system" and walk with someone you trust
· Call UTEP Police for a Public Safety Escort Service during the evening and nighttime hours
· Walk near the curb and away from shrubbery where someone could be hiding
· Walk against traffic so that cars cannot surprise you from behind
· Keep an arm's length away from strangers
· Don't Make it Obvious That You're in Unfamiliar Territory
· Giving the appearance of not paying attention and not being alert is what suspects look for in a victim
· Be alert of your surroundings
· Know your campus
· Walk briskly and with confidence
· Emergency Dial 9-1-1 (Police, Fire & Ambulance)