Police: 2 women sexually assaulted in University area, may be connected

Two women say a man came up and grabbed them, then ran away near UNC Charlotte. One incident happened on campus, the other across the street in a parking garage. They both say the man appeared to be homeless.

The first assault happened in UNC Charlotte’s Greek Village. You need a key to get in to the residence halls, or at least someone who will hold the door.

“Super common thing to let someone in. It's a nice gesture to hold the door for someone," said Hailey Couch, a senior at UNC Charlotte. 

But Couch says she won't be doing that anymore after hearing about the stranger who sexually assaulted a fellow student who held the door.

“I was immediately scared. I showed everyone around me how close to home it is. It was just a few doors down from me. I walk around here many times a day. Feeling scared isn't something I want to feel when I go home,” said Couch.

RELATED: Police: Woman sexually assaulted in University City area parking garage

She says UNC Charlotte campus police sent out an alert that Sunday morning around 9:00 a.m., a student let a man into this building thinking he was with maintenance.

“He went to the elevator and held the elevator and said ‘I’ll hold the door for you,’ and she said I’m not going upstairs.” 

Campus police Chief Jeffrey Baker says the student suddenly realized the man didn't belong there.

He was soaking wet and looked disheveled, he appeared to be homeless, but when she told him to leave, he ran toward her, grabbed her hand and backside, and then ran out.

“The fact that they haven't caught the guy is a little scary. He might be lurking around and we're super unaware,” Couch said.

Later that afternoon around 4:00 p.m. a similar attack happened, this time at the parking garage at University Crossings Apartment complex right across the street from campus. The victim was a woman in her 40s. 

Chief Baker says he only has a vague description of the attacker. He says a picture would be a game changer.

“I think that in your primary entrances and exits of res halls you should have not good cameras, but great cameras that take perfect video. That's where people enter and exit, even bad people,” said Chief Baker.

The newer buildings have security cameras, but he says older ones like these in Greek Village do not.

“I believe money has been set aside and I believe after this we will have cameras at every primary entrance and exit. That's all I’ve ever asked for, just think if we had that in this case,” he said.

The suspect has been described as a black male, around 20-years-old, approximately 5'9" tall, with a thin build and medium complexion. 

The campus police chief says the university is going building-by-building to add security cameras. In the meantime, CMPD says they have increased their patrol at apartment complexes around the campus.

University Crossings Apartments did not respond to our request.