by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:SEATTLE —
Seattle police are investigating after a man attacked a female student at Seattle University and threatened to sexually assault her.
"She was just screaming and screaming," freshman Greg Osberg said.
He heard the screams outside his window around 3:45 a.m. Saturday.
"It sounded like she was in trouble--like she was screaming and then it sounded like there was running a little bit," he said.
He immediately called the campus' Department of Public Safety.
He didn't know what happened until the university sent out an email a few hours later saying a female student was attacked.
"Definitely as an 18-year-old female, it's really scary," Shannon Sullivan-Moore said. "I don't know many females who don't keep pepper spray on their keychain."
According to police the victim told them a man started following her at Broadway and Pine Street.
She said he tried to talk to her but she told him to leave her alone.
She crossed Broadway to the east side of the street and continued toward campus.
As she reached campus, she cut through the wooded area just north of the Campion residence hall near James Street.
Police said the suspect grabbed her from behind, threw her to the ground and told her to give him her phone or he would sexually assault her.
She managed to break free, run away and call police.
Students said the surrounding area can be dangerous.
"I would never go out at that time by myself in this area," Seth Walker said.
"They warn us about the area we're in," Sullivan-Moore said. "We know it's not necessarily the safest area."
Police described the attacker as having dark skin, 25 to 35 years old, clean cut (no facial hair), about5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall, wearing a red rain jacket with gray stripes down the sleeves and blue jeans.
Authorities searched the area for the attacker but could not find him.