UC Riverside Student Recovering After Being Kidnapped From Parking Garage
RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — Police Monday were looking for a man who kidnapped and physically attacked a UC Riverside student.
The incident happened around 3:15 p.m. Sunday at the University Towers parking complex at 3500 Iowa Avenue.
KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen reports a man grabbed the female victim and threw her into the back of his vehicle.
“She was tied and then something was placed over her head,” Rick Cobb of the Riverside Police Department said.
Authorities said the suspect drove the woman around for about half an hour.
During that time, the victim, a psychology major, was able to break out of her ties and reason with the man.
“She was able to calm him, befriend him, and while doing that, he almost became sympathetic and decided to release her,” Cobb said.
The suspect drove the student back to the parking structure.
The suspect was described as a white man in his late 20s to early 30s with medium-length dirty blonde hair. He was dressed in dark clothing.
His vehicle was described as a 2009 or newer charcoal grey 4-door Nissan Sentra.
The university sent an email alert to students about what happened.
Some people, however, are still concerned about the parking garage, which isn’t equipped with security cameras.
“I was scared because I park here all the time so…I have late classes, so I’m afraid to walk back at night now,” Andrea Mitchell said.
Investigators told KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz that they will be looking at surveillance video from nearby businesses.
Patrols have also been beefed up in the area.
On UC Riverside’s Facebook page, one person wrote, “I go to the school a lot. I rarely see UCRPD. Why don’t they visibly patrol around the school?”
The school responded by saying the police department extensively patrols the area and have installed security cameras around the campus.
Meantime, there were two separate attempted kidnapping incidents in the area back in April. Police do not believe there is a connection to what occurred on Sunday.
Anyone with information should contact police at (951) 353-7134.