Police investigating sexual assault near Hope College campus

Becky Vargo • Oct 21, 2018 at 6:46 PM

Holland Police are investigating a sexual assault which occurred in the early Saturday morning.

Police say that two 21-year-old Hope College female students were walking east on the sidewalk of 14th St. near College Ave., at about 2 a.m., with the victim walking a short distance behind her friend. 

The victim was approached from behind by a male subject who grabbed her and began to forcibly touch her, police said. The victims friend heard the commotion, turned around, and upon seeing what was occurring yelled at the suspect. The suspect released his hold on the victim and both females fled, running from the scene. It is believed the suspect left on foot, although the victim and witness did not see which direction he left. 

The suspect is described as a light skinned, possibly Hispanic male, with “shaggy” brown hair, medium build, approximately 5-feet, 5-inches tall and was wearing a Lions jersey with a grey hooded sweatshirt underneath. 

Officers were able to obtain surveillance footage of a possible suspect from a nearby business. A photo of the possible suspect is attached to this article. 

As of the time of the press release, it was unknown if this incident is related to the incident from the previous weekend. While the incidents are similar the suspect descriptions are not, police said.  Police are continuing to investigate both incidents. 

Students are reminded to not walk alone late at night, but rather walk with others for increased safety.

Anyone who has information that may help in this investigation is asked to contact the Holland Department of Public Safety at (616) 355-1150 or email investigators at [email protected] Persons wishing to remain anonymous may contact Silent Observer by calling 1-877-887-4536, texting OCMTIP and your message to 274637 or you may go online and submit a tip using the online form at www.mosotips.com

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