PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Police are reviewing surveillance cameras in the area of Drexel University after a female student reported being raped at an off-campus apartment. The assault happened on the 3200 block of Winter Street, just before 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Students on campus are staying vigilant, hoping an arrest is made soon.
Police are now analyzing forensic evidence and sorting through surveillance footage to try and track down the suspect.
To report a rape as a college student is a brave act. Unwanted attention surely follows an already painful time, but fellow Drexel students are thankful to not be left in the dark.
“We are not on a secluded college campus, we are in the middle of the city,” one student said.
According to police, a 22-year-old female student was raped inside of her off-campus apartment on the 3200 block of Winter Street by someone who, police say, had followed her home.
“She opened her door to go inside and when she turned to close her door, she realized that the male offender had followed her inside,” Philadelphia Police Capt. Mark Burgmann said.
Investigators say the man told the victim he was a friend of John, which was the name of one of her roommates.
“She went in the kitchen area and texted John. At that point in time, John said he had no idea who it was,” Burgmann said.
When the victim informed the intruder that John was not home, police say the suspect put the woman in a headlock.
“He forced her upstairs to the second floor, her bedroom area, where he then raped her,” Burgmann said.
The suspect then fled the home.
It’s a disturbing and emotional story that has struck many on and off campus, making security a focus.
“I also put Drexel’s campus security on my phone. That way if I need to call them, I can call them right away,” sophomore Isabella Sta Rosa said.
“Of course raising awareness is an important issue, but at the same time, these things don’t go unnoticed and it’s important to take action,” sophomore Kartik Mohan said.
Police say the suspect is described as a black male between 18 and 23 years old, with a thin build and a soft voice. Police add that when speaking to the victim, he identified himself as Thomas or Tom, and has a red phone case.
Police are asking for any tips.
Eyewitness News reached out to the university about security measures for students who live off campus, but have not heard back.
If you have any information about this incident, contact Philadelphia police at 215-685-3251 or Drexel University police at 215-895-2222.