William & Mary student raped while walking to grocery store

Posted at 9:09 AM, Dec 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-19 06:16:34-05

Williamsburg, Va. - Williamsburg police are searching for a man who raped a woman behind the apartments on New Hope Rd. Tuesday night.

Police responding to a report of an armed man found the victim along the path around the pond that runs behind the apartments on New Hope Rd adjacent to the parking garage.

The William & Mary student told police she left was walking from her apartment on Sterling Manor Drive and was walking to the nearby Food Lion. The attacker crossed the street and approached her near the parking garage, asking her a question she could not understand.

The school sent this safety notice to students following the attack.

When she reached for her cell phone he pulled a small knife and warned her not to scream.

He forced her down the path between the pond and the New Hope apartments, striking her in the head when she screamed at an apartment with a light on. He then sexually assaulted her.

The victim was transported Riverside Hospital in Newport News for her injuries.

The suspect is described as a black man in his mid 20’s with untrimmed facial hair, approximately 6`2" and 200-230 pounds.

He was wearing dark colored jeans and a gray hooded sweatshirt. He also had a dark colored winter cap on his head.

Two weeks ago, about the same time and in the same spot where the student was attacked, another woman says she had a chilling run-in with a man she's now convinced is the rapist. A man who, just like the suspect last night, moved toward her on the sidewalk.

“It was a man standing in the center of that field, and I hauled tail. And now this happens. It made me bring back just two weeks ago, it was a man in the center of that field with all black on,” she says.

William & Mary students say they do feel safe here, at all hours, because crimes like this are rare.

"You wouldn't think Williamsburg is a dangerous area. It is definitely shocking to hear news like that happening here," says student Laura Klosterman.

"I have a lot of friends who will go on runs at midnight, just go by themselves, they feel safe enough like that. And you wish you could do that kind of thing, but it is sad it is something you need to be thinking about all the time," says Abby Hollister.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP or the Williamsburg Police Department at 757-220-2331.