Reno Police Seek Attempted Sexual Assault Suspect - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Reno Police Seek Attempted Sexual Assault Suspect

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The Reno Police Department says they are looking for a man who tried to sexually assault a woman.

It happened Wednesday night around 6:30 in the 1400 block of North Virginia Street across from the University of Nevada campus. Police say the man knocked on a 20-year-old woman's door, and got into the house by asking to use her phone. Once inside he pulled a knife and demanded she take off her clothes. After a brief struggle the attacker took off leaving the woman with a cut on her hand.

Police describe the suspect as a 20-30 year old Asian or Hispanic, about 5'3"-5'4' with an athletic build. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a long sleeved blue checkered/collared shirt. He has short dark hair and a rectangular shaped tattoo on his right wrist.

If you know anything call Secret Witness at 322-4900 or text your tip to 847411. Your call will remain anonymous. A $1,500 reward is being offered.

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Reno Police released these personal safety tips -

This information is being provided to increase awareness about personal safety and to provide resources if an attack should occur. Use the following safety tips to identify and assess situations in which you could be assaulted.  Please see the resources on the last page to help a victim after an attack to understand reporting options and to access services to assist victims to cope and begin the healing process.

The Friendly Stranger

Many attacks start with casual conversation-the assailant is sizing up the victim. If she is polite and friendly (as most people have been taught to be), he may attempt to intimidate her. Although most women feel uncomfortable about such an encounter before it escalates, they don't appear to be unfriendly or rude. If your gut-level response to a man, whether a stranger or friend, is uneasiness, try to get out of the situation as quickly as possible, even if it means being rude or making a scene. Trust your gut instinct.

Personal Safety

  • Look confident, keep your head up and walk with a confident stride.
  • Make eye contact with people you encounter.  This shows self confidence and may detour a potential attack. 
  • Be aware and alert to your surroundings.  Don't talk on your cell phone or be listening to your IPOD when you are in an unfamiliar area.  This can be a distraction and can make you vulnerable for attack. 
  • If you do jog alone, stay in public areas that are well lit and populated.
  • Keep your hands free.  Limit the number of items you're carrying or use a backpack or bag to ensure that your hands are free to defend if needed.
  • Regularly change your routine.  
  • Develop a survival mind set.  While you're in a safe place visualize a dangerous situation and what you would do if confronted with it.  This may be unpleasant, however it is a good idea to prepare yourself if you were ever attacked, so you don't freeze with fear if something ever was to happen.
  • If you feel uncomfortable in a situation don't worry about hurting the person's feelings, just leave. 
  • Trust your instincts.  If something doesn't feel right, trust your feelings and do what you need to do to be safe.  

At Home

  • Make sure you have adequate lighting around your homes entrances'.
  • Use strong locks on every door of your home.  If you have a door with a window on it, put a lock that has key access on both the inside and outside.  This will deter someone from breaking the window and being able to unlock the door themselves. 
  • Use your initial rather than first name on your door, mailbox, in the phone book, and on magazine and monthly statements you receive via mail.
  • Use caution in conversations with strangers.  Avoid giving identifying information about yourself such as: name, address or place of employment.
  • If a stranger asks to use your telephone do not let him/her enter your home.  Offer to make the phone call for them.
  • Invest in a peephole and always check through the peep hole before opening the door, even if you're expecting guests.
  • Consider getting a security chain for your front door.
  • Always check a person's work identification badge before letting them into your home.  You should call their place of employment to verify that they are who they say they are and that they are supposed to be there.
  • If you receive prank telephone calls, don't reveal your personal information or admit that you are alone.  Do not give your phone number to an unknown caller; instead ask what number they are calling.  Do not prolong the conversation and hang up. 
  • If your keys are lost or if your purse or vehicle is stolen, make sure to change the locks to your house immediately.
  • Never leave your doors unlocked or windows open and unattended. 
  • Get safety latches for your windows and keep them on at all times.
  • Make sure all of your windows have coverings and keep your blinds or curtains drawn at night or when you are not there.
  • Never disrobe in front of a window.
  • Don't leave keys hidden outside of your home.  Thieves or intruders will find them; instead get a secure lock box to store them in if necessary. 
  • Don't leave messages on your door that indicate that you are gone or when you will return.
  • Get to know your neighbors.
  • Leave lights/TV or music on when no one is home.  This will give the appearance that someone is home. 
  • If you find evidence or believe someone has entered your home unwanted, do not enter and call 911 immediately.

Vehicle Safety

  • When you get inside your vehicle, lock your doors and leave.
  • Do not hitchhike or stop to pick up hitchhikers
  • Always approach your vehicle with your keys ready for entry.
  • Keep your doors locked (even while driving).
  • Keep your windows rolled up enough to discourage someone from being able to reach into your car.
  • Check the area around your car and inside of your car before getting in.
  • Always be alert in parking lots, especially when it's dark.  If you are feeling uneasy, ask someone (security guard, friend, etc.) to escort you to your vehicle.
  • If you are being followed, try to scare away the person by honking your horn to attract attention.  If that doesn't discourage the person, drive to a police or fire station.  Never drive home if you think you are being followed.
  • If your vehicle breaks down, raise the hood and sit inside of the car with the doors locked.  Be cautious of people who offer to help. 
  • When arriving at home, keep the headlights on until the garage is opened and the house door is unlocked.
  • Keep your valuables out of sight.
  • When arriving home by taxi or friend, ask them to wait until you are safely inside.

While You're Out and About

  • If you are approached by a person that makes you feel uncomfortable, cross the street, change directions or go into a close business until they are gone.
  • Walk only on well lit, well traveled streets.  Avoid parks, dark parking lots and construction areas after dark. 
  • Avoid going out alone at night.
  • Never leave beverages unattended.
  • If you are drinking, make sure to limit your consumption to a level where you can still be alert and respond to a situation if needed.
  • If you believe that you are being followed when you're walking, turn around and look.  If you are in danger, you'll be more prepared to deal with it. 
  • If you are hesitant about entering an elevator with someone, wait for the next one.  In the elevator, stand close to the control panel and know where the alarm is located.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • There is safety in numbers.  Walk with people you know or wait for a large group to leave an area with. 

REMEMBER:

  • Do not be afraid to call for help.  Even if you are unsure about calling, it's better to be safe than sorry.
  • Don't assume that all suspicious people or occurrences have been reported to police.  Report them yourself ASAP.
  • If you are in an emergency, call 911 and give them your address first.  Then state the problem and give as much information as you have time to give.
  • Your best defense against an attack is awareness.
  • You have the right to defend yourself if attacked. You can carry mace/pepper spray and use it if you're being attacked. 

Reno Police Department Victim Services Unit – 657-4519

Sexual Assault Support Services at the Crisis Call Center

775-784-8090 or 1-800-992-5757 www.crisiscallcenter.org

The Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) advocacy team provides immediate crisis intervention services for survivors of sexual assault, their family members and friends. The SASS program can provide information regarding medical treatment and reporting to law enforcement.  We are also able to assist with referrals for financial assistance and long term counseling services.  All services provided by the SASS program are free and confidential.

All services provided by Crisis Call Center are free of charge and available to anyone in any crisis situation.  The Center does not practice nor condone discrimination on the basis of race, color, sexual orientation, age, religion, national origin, marital status, military status, political belief, mental or physical handicap, or any other preference or personal characteristic, condition, or status.

Sources:

www.safetyforwomen.com/tips.htm, http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=125859, http://middletownborough.com/Community/safety/Safetytipsfor women.asp,

www.selfdefence.com/safetytip.htm, www.bringbriback.com, www.crisiscallcenter.org

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