BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Two women were attacked at Western Washington University in less than a week and police are not sure if there is one attacker or two.
Police said a student walked across campus last Friday around 6:30 p.m. to meet friends. The dining hall was closed so she headed to her dorm.
The woman told police that a college-aged white man approached her in a parking lot.
According to police, the man grabbed the woman by the wrist and tried to drag her into the woods, but she got away. The woman was so shaken up, it took her three hours to call police.
“I think she was legitimately very frightened,” said Western Washington University police chief Randy Stegmeier.
On Thursday, another woman was attacked.
Police said the woman was assaulted by a college-aged man who jumped out of the bushes along North Garden Street. The attacker grabbed her wrist, but the woman hit the man and he ran off.
Police are concerned about the attacks because of the timing and proximity.
According to police, the victim of the first attack described the man as 5 feet 8 inches tall, and the second victim described the attacker as 6 feet tall.
“It’s possible we might not be looking at the same person,” Stegmeier said.
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Lee Stoll spoke with students on campus who are taking extra precautions on campus.
“I was put off. That’s not fun and as a young woman myself, I’m glad that wasn’t me,” said student Natalie Fedak.
Fedak received a text alert from campus police after one of the women was assaulted near Fairhaven Commons.
Danielle Oyama showed KIRO 7 a pocket knife she immediately added to her key chain after the attacks.
“We feel safe, but after getting those text messages, it makes us a lot more nervous,” said Oyama.
Police are offering to escort students that don’t feel safe walking at night.