PORTLAND -- A woman was sexually assaulted early Monday morning in a stranger-to-stranger attack on the Portland State University campus, police said.
The PSU student said she was attacked about 3:15 a.m. She had been near SW 10th and Yamhill and was walking to her dorm, in the Stratford Building, according to Lt. Mike Marshman with the Portland Police Bureau.
The suspect was described as a white man in his mid 30s with shaggy light brown hair, pronounced cheekbones and unshaven, possibly wearing a dark jacket and jeans. The victim said he smelled like sawdust and was "twitchy," as if intoxicated.
She recalls being followed as she walked toward the dorm at SW 10th and Market. She was struck over the head and knocked unconscious. When she woke up, she was in an alley behind the women's dorm and had been sexually assaulted, Marshman said.
The 27-year-old woman was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Anyone with information was asked to call detective Jason Christensen at (503) 823-0894. Anyone with emergency information should call 9-1-1.
PSU police issued an alert on their website, following the attack. It read, in part:
Please be vigilant and aware of your surroundings on and off campus, and call 911 or the Campus Public Safety Office at 503-725-4404 if you observe suspicious behavior or if you have any concerns about your personal safety.
Support services from the PSU Women's Resource Center and Student Health and Counseling Services are available for anyone impacted by violence.
The school has also scheduled a 5:30 p.m. audience interactive theater performance on sexual assault and safety.
PSU spokesman Scott Gallagher said school police work closely with Portland police because of the transparent geographic lines between the campus and downtown Portland. He said PSU was prepared to reach out to any student with safety concerns.
Students were on edge Monday and concerned this happened at their campus.
"It's really concerning and really pretty scary actually, just because, I mean, I usually feel pretty comfortable here and now that makes me kind of nervous. I'm going to pay even more attention to where I am and who is around me... and carry my pepper spray all the time," said student Olivia Wyatt.
Portland police also sent out a reminder of the Sexual Assault Resource Center of Oregon and its 24-hour support line at (503) 640-5311.
The police bureau also provides classes on safety and self-defense for women and girls. Call (503) 823-0260 or visit WomenStrength and GirlStrength.