Student says she was sexually assaulted by driver near OSU’s campus

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The victim of an alleged sexual assault in the North Campus area of Ohio State last weekend talked to NBC4 Tuesday about what happened.

She was about to use a ride-sharing app on her phone to request a ride. It was about 1:30 Saturday morning. She had been to a bar with friends and they had just split up. Everyone was heading back to their apartments. It all seemed pretty routine. “We kind of went our separate ways because they were going to walk back and I was going to Uber home because that’s what we always do.”

She was on Lane Avenue just west of High Street. “And this car drove up to me on the side of the road…and he said, ‘I’m your Lyft’…I was like, Oh this is my Lyft driver and got in the car.” She got in the front seat.

She says she didn’t think it was all that unusual that a ride-share driver would pull up and offer a ride. “Taxis just kind of drive up to you…I mean I’ve done that downtown before and I’ve never had an experience like this.”

As they drove west on Lane Avenue, she says, “He started really aggressively grabbing on to my wrists, trying to like pull me towards him and trying to make me like touch his pelvic area.”

She says she screamed and resisted. “He didn’t say anything which is kind of weird slash creepy. He didn’t say absolutely anything.”

After being rebuffed in his first attempts, she says he reached out with his hands to touch her. She kept resisting and screaming.

As they drove down Woody Hayes Blvd, she noticed some Columbus police cruisers. “There was like two or three squad cars kind of just sitting there. Then he abruptly stopped the car and when he stopped the doors automatically unlocked and I just jumped out and ran right over to the squad cars.”

She says it all took less than two minutes. “I was just terrified that if we had made it off campus where it wasn’t a well-lit area that something really bad could happen.”

Columbus Police are looking for information on the car and the driver and issued the following release:

SEXUAL ASSAULT INVESTIGATION:

The Columbus Division of Police needs the help of the community to locate a vehicle that is possibly involved with a sexual assault investigation on December 9, 2017 near The Ohio State University.

The victim claims the sexual assault occurred at approximately 1:30am in the area of West Lane Ave. & North High St.

A female OSU student entered a vehicle she believed to be associated with a ride share service. She was later able to escape & flagged down a Columbus Police cruiser.

The vehicle was described as a newer model, white 4-door sedan which appears to be missing a hubcap on the driver’s-side rear wheel or has a small spare tire mounted on the vehicle.

The suspect was described as an Asian male, 23-27 years old, 6 feet tall, thin build, black hair with a spiked crew cut.

Anyone with info on this case is asked to contact CPD’s Special Victim’s Bureau at SAU@columbuspolice.org or 614-645-4266.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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