Towson University student raped off-campus, police say

A Towson University student was raped early Friday outside an apartment building near campus, police said.

The woman told Baltimore County police she was grabbed from behind by two males and attacked about 1 a.m. at University Village. Campus police issued a crime alert Friday.

"We're offering all of the resources at Towson to support the victim and her family as she begins to recover from this horrible event," Towson University spokeswoman Gay Pinder said.

Cpl. Cathy Batton, a county police spokeswoman, said the woman called police at 2:18 a.m. and said the rape had occurred between 12:53 a.m. and 1:20 a.m. in the 400 block of Campus View Drive.

The woman was not able to provide a description of the suspects, and the investigation is continuing, Batton said. Anyone with information is asked to call county police.

University Village shares an entrance off Osler Drive with Sheppard Pratt, just west of campus, and residents said it is typically a safe place to live.

Junior Malik Partman, 20, of Upper Marlboro said University Village is a "nice community."

"I was shocked when I heard about it," said Partman, who has lived at University Village for two weeks. "It's unfortunate, but at the same time, I do feel secure here."

Sophomore Mackenzie Cockerill, 19, of Gaithersburg said she received a campus alert on her phone, then quickly heard from her mother early Friday.

"I get messages all the time about things like this," she said. "It's more like assaults a couple miles from campus, but I've never gotten one from here."

Cockerill, who has lived in University Village since her freshman year, said the incident only came up in one of her classes when students commented on how they missed the university alert because it was sent while they were asleep.

A manager of the apartments referred questions to the corporate communications department of American Campus Communities. Their offices were closed Friday afternoon, and no one returned an email seeking comment.

This was the second high-profile incident this week involving Baltimore-area university students as they returned to campuses for the fall semester. Four female Johns Hopkins University students were robbed late Wednesday night by two men, one of whom pointed a gun at the group, on North Charles Street, next to the Homewood campus.

Hopkins said in a campus email that it was putting extra security patrols on the street and that city police were increasing patrols near campus.

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