NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A sexual assault has been reported at Manhattan College.
A student was attacked in her apartment near campus last month, and police believe the same man tried to attack another student two weeks later.
Students are on high alert. The suspect is still on the loose.
Students rushing to get to classes from their off-campus dorm are now waiting for a buddy to walk with after their worst fear came true inside their own building, reported CBS2’s Tara Jakeway.
“We’re all kind of scared in there. We don’t really know what’s going on,” said dorm resident Miranda Gonzalez.
Students at Manhattan College’s off-campus dorm Overlook Manor are resting uneasy after their classmates woke up to a strange man hovering over their beds while they slept.
“I found out through and email and also I found out in the elevator. As I was going up, some girls were talking about it,” said resident Daniel Sultana.
An email sent out to students details two separate incidents. On Jan. 26 and Feb 9, a man entered two unlocked dorm rooms and watched the women sleep. In one case, they woke up and screamed, sending the man running. In the other, police say the man sexually assaulted the woman before taking off on foot.
“It makes me feel uncomfortable. I don’t want that happening to me or someone else I know,” Sultana said.
“It’s terrifying. I can’t imagine how she felt. That should happen to no one,” said resident Kelsey Kovacs.
To prevent that from happening, Kovacs and her roommate Madison Hunt are taking their own precautions.
“Lock our doors. If you see anyone suspicious report it,” Hunt said.
Extra vigilance, residents say, is always required because there is just one security guard at the front desk.
“He can’t leave his post so when it happened there was nobody that could immediately respond. So that’s a little scary,” said resident Rachel Bianculli.
Bianculli says the school did host a forum between administration, public safety and the students but it was a one way conversation.
“They kind of kept putting the blame on us, so that was kind of unsettling. How we should be locking our doors. But also, why isn’t there more security in the building?” she said.
Bianculli’s on the swim team with Gonzalez. They’re up before dawn to train.
“We leave our dorms at 5:30 in the morning, so walking along kind of is not comfortable anymore,” Gonzalez said.
The junior athletes now only walk to the pool in pairs.
Police are looking into the second incident as a possible sexual assault as well.
“Our students’ safety and security are our highest priority at Manhattan College. Our Public Safety and Residence Life staff will continue to do everything they can to support our students and ensure their well being 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” Manhattan College said in a statement.