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Arrest Made After Second Friday Assault at UAA

Published On: Jan 24 2014 10:12:00 AM AKST   Updated On: Jan 24 2014 10:12:00 PM AKST

Two women assaulted at UAA Consortium Library.


[UPDATE 5:09 p.m. Jan. 24] Campus police say a 34-year-old Taurus Lapin has been arrested in connection to the two UAA assaults on Friday.

[ORIGINAL STORY 10:12 a.m. on Jan. 24] University of Alaska Anchorage police have arrested a man they say assaulted two women in separate incidents on UAA’s main campus on Friday.

University Police Department Deputy Chief Brad Munn says campus officers received an Anchorage Police Department report of the first incident around 8:20 a.m. It happened near a People Mover bus stop on the north side of Providence Drive, at its intersection with Alumni Drive near the Consortium Library.

“Apparently the young lady was just standing there waiting for the bus and this individual came up to her,” Munn said. “He kind of made her uncomfortable so she took a step back, and at that point he took a swing at her.”

The woman, who was struck on the side of the face, ran away. She declined medical attention when responders arrived.

A second assault happened around 2:30 p.m. inside the library, Munn said. He described it as a “similar incident,” with a single punch to the head of a female victim. The second victim fled to the circulation desk.

A photo of the suspect was released Friday afternoon. Munn said there is a “possible name attached to (the man in) the photo” but said Friday it was too early to release it.

After the first assault, police received a subsequent report from a witness that the suspect -- described by the victim as a white male in his mid-twenties, wearing a knit hat, flannel jacket and dark khaki or green pants, possibly carrying a backpack -- ran south across Providence Drive after the initial assault.

He was last seen heading through parked cars at Providence Alaska Medical Center toward the hospital’s parking garage.

Responding officers didn’t see the man, and an initial search of the area near Providence didn’t turn him up.

University police say the same man is a suspect in both assaults. He’s described as a white man in his mid-twenties, wearing a knit hat, a flannel jacket, dark pants and carrying a backback.

Munn says police have no immediate indication of whether the assault was a “knockout game” incident, in which an assailant attempts to punch a victim unconscious with a single blow.

“At this point, no idea,” Munn said. “Of course, at this point the young lady who was struck has no idea why it happened either.”

In a UPD safety alert issued to campus faculty and staff Friday morning, police say there's no immediate danger to faculty or staff, but advise people to be aware of their surroundings.

Anyone who witnessed the assault or has information on the suspect should call the department at 786-1120.

KTUU's Abby Hancock, Samantha Angaiak, and Matthew Smith contributed to this story.