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Suspect description released in UMD student attempted kidnapping | News

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Suspect description released in UMD student attempted kidnapping

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WUSA9) -- Prince George's County police have released a description of a suspect who they say tried to kidnap a University of Maryland student at knife point Sunday morning.

The suspect is described as a white man, approximately 6'0" tall and wearing a red flannel shirt or coat. The victim said the man had dirty fingernails and a foul body odor, according to police.

The incident took place off campus in the 4400 block of Hartwick Road at about 6 a.m., the public safety office said
citing an incident report from Prince George's County police

Students who live in the same off-campus apartment building as the victim say the University of Maryland sophomore was driving back from breakfast, dropped off her friends and parked her car when it happened.

University of Maryland alert services

The victim reported that the suspect, armed with a knife, grabbed her by the neck from behind and told her that she was coming with him, authorities said. The suspect stumbled as he dragged her backwards, giving the victim an opportunity to escape, according to police. She was not injured.

"Once I read it in detail, it was definitely a lot more concerning," said Isabel Yu, a University of Maryland junior.

"Everyone is shocked. It's scary, I'm a young girl, It could have been me," Lexi Levy, another UMD student said.

"There are some attacks that have happened in broad daylight. I guess some people are more bold or they figured out some areas where certain people are just naive about safety," student Shayna Beck told WUSA9.

Students say they get quite a few alerts about crime and other incidents in the area of College Park but say generally, Hartwick Road is fairly safe.

"It's not super rare but this is definitely the worst. It's concerning because I live really close to where this happened," Amalya Sherman said.

"Everything that happens around here there are definitely a lot of incidents, you gotta be careful no matter what time of day it is or who you're with," said Andrew Hudson, another UMD student.

There are off-campus housing units and businesses like Applebee's and a FedEx Office near the area where the incident happened. They're not businesses that would be open at 6 a.m. Sunday morning, but there are still plenty of people around.

"I'm glad that she was able to get away but I think that we need to have more security around campus or what's considered 'off-campus'," said grad student Tatiana Benjamin. "I think the roads that lead over to Route 1 need more safety. I don't often see patrol."

County and campus police want those in the area to be extra cautious.

"If they notice any suspicious activity or a person behaving in a suspicious manner, to call police right away," said University of Maryland Police Sargent Rosanne Hoaas. Students also have a 24-hour escort service if they are walking along and feel unsafe.

Anyone with information about the incident or the possible identity of suspects is encouraged to contact police (911 or 301-772-4908).