Attempted abductions reported on Wertland Street, Water Street

Unclear if the incidents in recent days are connected

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Wertland Street was the site of one of the two recent reported attempted abductions. 

Lauren Hornsby | Cavalier Daily

Two attempted abductions have been reported in Charlottesville in recent days.  

An attempted abduction was reported on the 1100 block of Wertland St. early Friday morning. The University community was alerted about the incident through an email from University Chief of Police Michael Gibson shortly after the incident had been initially reported.

According to the email, a female victim was walking alone on Wertland St. at about 2 a.m. Friday when “an unknown male approached her from behind, covered her mouth, and took her to the ground.” 

The suspect proceeded to threaten the victim, but fled the scene when passerby heard the victim’s screams. The suspect was reported to be traveling eastbound and away from Grounds.

The Charlottesville Police Department also issued a media release about the incident, stating the suspect was described to be a “white male with brown hair and a stocky build … also wearing dark clothing.” 

A similar attempted abduction also took place Sunday evening on West Water Street. According to a community alert from Gibson, a woman was again attacked from behind by an unknown male who covered her mouth.  

The suspect fled towards downtown Charlottesville when the woman began to scream for help, and the press release said the suspect was wearing a black hoodie with red sleeves. 

It is unclear if these two reported incidents are connected. 

Student Council released a statement Sunday evening, saying it is “deeply concerned” by the reported attempted abductions. According to the statement, Student Council President Sarah Kenny, a fourth-year College student, will be meeting with Pat Lampkin, the vice president of Student Affairs, and Gibson on the issue.

“Our community must constantly stay alert and look out for one another,” the statement read. “Your safety is our number one concern.”

Authorities are encouraging anyone with additional information about these situations to contact the Charlottesville Police Department or call Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.

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