Students urged to be safe amid assaults

by Beacon Staff • September 22, 2011

strongNatalie Valdes, Beacon Correspondent/strong

Following a recent string of sexual assaults throughout the city, Boston police officials urged college students to take caution when walking the streets, officials said at a press conference Wednesday morning.

“There is no need to panic. We simply want everyone to stay alert and aware when traveling alone and at night,” said Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley.

A series of sexual assaults on the Esplanade, in the Moakley Park area of South Boston, and in Boston’s North End are currently being investigated, police said. According to The Boston Globe, a woman was allegedly raped at gunpoint early Sunday morning in the Savin Hill neighborhood of Dorchester. A suspect was arrested soon after.

Most recently, at 7:10 a.m. yesterday, police said a woman was transported to the hospital after being assaulted. Officials cannot confirm what type of assault took place, and said the case is currently being investigated.

State Police Colonel Marian McGovern warned newcomer students to be cautious.

“With so many college students coming to us in September, we want them to experience the many things our city has to offer and go about their days free from fear,” said McGovern. “All we ask is to be careful.”

Presently, police are searching for a man described as white, clean-shaven, and bald with a medium to large build who is responsible for three assaults on young women.

Officers said they encourage students to stay off their cell phones and iPods when traveling alone, to stay alert and aware of surroundings, to walk in well-lit areas, and trust their instincts.

“Carry a fully charged cellphone, and never walk alone,” said McGovern. “Report suspicious people and activity also. Do not hesitate to call 911 immediately.”

emValdes can be reached at natalie_valdes@emerson.edu./em