SAGINAW COUNTY (WJRT) (09/17/18) - Two female students who reported being attacked on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University were sent to the hospital over the weekend.
The incident started around 4 a.m. Sunday, when someone driving a Saturn Vue pulled up behind a group of four students and asked if they knew of someone, said campus Police Chief Leo Mioduszewski.
The students said no and kept walking before the person repeated the question. Mioduszewski said the van stopped, three men got out and assaulted two of the four students.
The assault took place just down the road from the campus police department. The students were walking back to a residence hall from a nearby apartment complex at the time.
"They kicked one individual in the rib area and then punched each of the two females in the face," said Mioduszewski.
Both students were taken to an area hospital, where they were treated and released. Mioduszewski said the attack appears to have been random.
"What we are seeing nationally, though, there is a trend -- kind of a sick game -- where people will go up to strangers and physically assault them," he said. "Now, whether that was the motive or there was someone other reason, we just don't know at this point."
Investigators hope surveillance video from the campus and nearby businesses will help.
"We have a lot of video watching to do, we are hoping to be able to identify that vehicle based on camera video," said Mioduszewski
Students say they generally feel safe on campus, so the randomness of this attack has them on edge. Allicia Russell thinks nothing of walking around campus, at times alone.
"Because I'm a 21-year-old girl, there's times when I can't help it. I have to get across campus somewhere by myself late at night," she said.
But Russell is rethinking that practice after the assault.
"It's kind of scary, I'm not going to lie," she said.
Natalie Nitshmann always uses the buddy system.
"We always make sure we are walking together, never walking home alone -- and that's all you can really do," she said.
But in this situation the buddy system didn't help, which worries her.
"Being a girl, you're very vulnerable," Nitshmann said. "I feel like it's so scary to know that it's happening, especially around here where you are supposed to be safe."
Despite what happened, students say the university does a great job of keeping the campus safe.
"They send a text, they call us, they leave us a voicemail, send us an email," Russell said. "They are really well aware of what's going on, which I like a lot."
SVSU campus police didn't announce any arrests in the case on Monday. Anyone with information on the assault is asked to call police.