Assault spurs West Campus evacuation

By EDDIE CELAYA

 

Pima Community College’s West Campus was evacuated Oct. 20 after a female student reported an attempted assault.

The woman told campus police she was approached by a man just before 3 p.m. on the south side of the A building.

The man attempted to drag the victim to his vehicle, but she was able to break free and run into the building.

The college issued a PCC Alert at 3:03 p.m., and followed with four additional alerts between 3:06 p.m. and 4:10 p.m.

The alerts contained details regarding the suspect’s age and physical description, as well as the type and color of vehicle he was driving.

The final two alerts reported police had circled the area but were unable to locate the suspect.

At 5:37 p.m., a mass email alerted all PCC students that West Campus would be closed for the remainder of the day.

Vice President of Instruction Greg Busch helped coordinate the evacuation.

“We are responding to a situation from earlier in the day with the utmost caution at this time,” he said. “Until we can search the campus and make sure everything is safe, we’re taking the safest approach right now.”

Pima spokeswoman Libby Howell called the evacuation a precautionary sweep of the campus. “It was for strictly safety reasons,” she said.

Later in the evening, PCC police sent an email containing a sketch of the suspect along with further information on his vehicle and physical appearance.

He was described as an African-American male in his 20s, about 6 feet tall with a thin build. His brown hair was short on the sides and had twists on top. He was wearing a white T-shirt, black shorts and black tennis shoes.

The suspect was driving a small gray vehicle, possibly a four-door, with tinted windows.

No suspect had been apprehended at press time. “Right now, we have no additional leads,” Howell said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the PCC police department at 206-2700.

The West Campus alerts were the second batch of the day. An alert issued at 12:22 p.m. by text and email said “a man was seen pointing a rifle at vehicles near I-19 and Drexel,” near Desert Vista Campus. Tucson Police were called to investigate.

At 12:43 p.m., an “all clear” PCC Alert notified students that police had confirmed the man suspected of having a gun was in fact a surveyor.

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