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Orange County Focus

COSTA MESA : OCC Crisis Team to Respond to Assaults

April 03, 1991|MARY ANNE PEREZ

Orange Coast College officials formed a crisis intervention team Monday to respond to assaults and other emergencies after the third report of a campus attack surfaced last week.

The incident occurred Feb. 13 but was not reported to campus officials until the victim read published accounts of the two other assaults, college spokesman Jim Carnett said.

More than 300 flyers warning of assaults and describing steps to prevent them were placed on cars in the campus parking lots on Monday, the first day after spring break. Faculty members were asked to address the issue in their classes and a presentation by campus security director John Farmer has been scheduled for noon on Thursday. The college has also posted more than 400 composite drawings of one suspected rapist throughout the campus.

In addition, the Crisis Alert Team, made up of faculty and students, aims to prompt the campus to respond more quickly to such attacks, said Sharon Donoff, vice president for student services, who formed the committee.

"Some of the women on campus say they recognize that they need to be cautious. I think there is a heightened sense of awareness," she said.

The committee hopes to develop procedures to follow in an emergency, to increase awareness of sexual assaults, provide self-defense programs and to be available to students who are victims of such crimes, Donoff said.

The college also offers a support service to students who are victims of assault or encounter other problems.

In the Feb. 13 assault, a woman reported to police that she went to the Adams Street parking lot between classes to put something in her car. As she bent over to take keys from her backpack, a man grabbed her by the neck.

The man put his hand over her mouth and told her to be quiet, but she fought with him and broke free.

The student reported to police that the assailant was either a Latino or a light-skinned black man 20 to 24 years old, 6 feet tall and weighing about 170 pounds. The suspect had short, curly black hair.

The March 11 assault also started out in the Adams Street parking lot when an unarmed man got into a car with a 23-year-old student about 3 p.m. He forced her to drive to the parking lot of a nearby grocery store, where he raped her.

The March 11 assailant was described as a black man in his early 20s with a flattop haircut, about 6 feet tall and weighing 200 pounds.

On Jan. 28, a man in his mid-20s with blond hair and blue eyes went with an 18-year-old student to the library, where he sexually assaulted her. The man was described as 5-foot-10, 145 pounds.

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