A Rowan female graduate student reported to Glassboro Police that she had been sexually assaulted on Route 322 near Hampton Boulevard — about half a mile away from campus — earlier this week.
On March 24, at approximately 9:30 p.m., the student stopped her car on the westbound shoulder of the road to exit it and rearrange some items in her vehicle, a police report said. While she was outside the car, two men forced themselves onto her and sexually assaulted the student in front of her vehicle, according to police.
The victim’s name was not released by police but she described both assailants as white males dressed in dark clothing and with faces covered by a scarf or mask. One of the men is reported to be in his 20s while the other is in his 40s.
The two suspects fled on foot in an unknown direction, according to the police report. The victim traveled home after the assault and returned to Glassboro a few minutes before midnight to report the incident to authorities.
Rowan Public Safety issued an Owl Alert on March 25 to spread awareness to the community of the crime in hopes of additional information from possible witnesses. Vice President of University Relations Joe Cardona said that the Owl Alert is sent out for three reasons — to educate people, to ask for help and to provide phone numbers of services.
“If you’re driving by and you see a woman on the side of the road with two guys talking to her and it seems like a weird situation, people need to report that and realize that we take care of each other because that’s how a small community works,” Cardona said. “At the time that this happened [on Route] 322, there’s constantly cars going by. So with a little bit of help from people, there may have been people who saw this based from [reading] the Owl Alert.”
The report has drawn concern from the Rowan community as the search continues for the suspects.
Junior dual elementary education and English major Kathryn Hagmann was shocked when she heard of the sexual assault.
“It’s scary that things like this happen,” Hagmann said. “It’s really unfortunate.”
Senior English major and commuter student Sylvia Brown sometimes travels along Route 322 after a night class to go home and said she was frightened after reading the Owl Alert.
“She didn’t deserve that,” Brown said. “I would want to tell everyone if they need to stop for any reason, make sure the area you’re in is well-lit.”
Glassboro police are continuing to investigate and lead the case with added support from Rowan. Police ask if anyone saw a dark-colored vehicle on the westbound shoulder of the road, suspicious males, or any other suspicious behavior to contact Investigator Julie Howery at 856-881-1501 or Rowan Public Safety at 856-256-4922.
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