Woman claims she was attacked on college campus

Carson City deputies are investigating an alleged assault on the Western Nevada College campus Thursday.

According to an e-mail sent out by campus police director Jack Piirainen, a female student called campus police at 5:45 p.m. to report that an hour earlier, she was accosted in the lower parking lot.

The woman said she was grabbed from behind by a knife-wielding man who called her another woman's name. As she pulled away from him, she said, she suffered slight wounds to her stomach and hip and fell to her knees. The man then allegedly grabbed her and turned her over and after looking into her face, ran away.

The woman told campus officers she was reluctant to report that incident and had only done so after prodding from friends.

Piirainen's e-mail came as a surprise to Sheriff Ken Furlong who, when contacted about the incident by media, said there had been no report of an assault to the sheriff's department.

Carson City Sheriff's investigators spent the afternoon trying to locate the victim, said Furlong.

"Our investigators have contacted the victim after searching all day long for her. She has been interview and they are following up on the case," he said around 6 p.m.

College spokeswoman Anne Hansen said the campus police never interviewed the victim face to face, but based on the phone call, decided the threat was credible enough to send out an e-mail.

"What we did was just try to err on the side of caution," she said, noting though campus officers never spoke to the victim in person, they had a "lengthy" phone conversation in which the victim sounded upset. "We were opting on the side of caution."

The victim described the assailant as a white male in his 20s, 6-feet tall, clean cut, with a medium build. He was last seen wearing a black, hooded sweatshirt, Dickie-type pants and white shoes.

Anyone who may have seen someone with this description or knows anything about the assault is asked to call the campus police at 445-3308 or the Carson City Sheriff's Detective Division at 887-2020 ext. 41400

Students who wish to have an escort to their vehicle are asked to call the on-duty officer at 230-1925.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.


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