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First Victim Of Serial Attacker Thought: 'Oh, God, This Is Really Happening'

(CBS) – One of three women targeted by a suspect sought by Chicago police describes the attack from earlier this month, as DePaul University stepped up security to protect students.

In the latest attack, a DePaul student was sexually assault early Thursday. Police released a picture of the male suspect who also is blamed in two previous attacks on Chicago's North Side within the past two weeks.

A woman who identified herself as the first victim, now at home with her parents out of state, talked with CBS 2's Brad Edwards by phone. She was allegedly assaulted along a tree-lined block of Lincoln Park.

"A guy came out of nowhere, grabbed me (in) like a bear hug, covered my mouth," she says. "When your mouth is being shut you go, 'Oh, God, this is really  happening,'" she says.

The three attacks occurred:

  • Aug. 9, in the 1900 block of North Bissel
  • Aug. 15 in the 100 block of West Goethe
  • Thursday in the 900 block of West Belden.

Ward 43 Ald. Michele Smith is alarmed by the attacks and thinks the police could do a better job of sharing information about them.

"We're calling on the Chicago police to change the way that they communicate information about sexual assaults," she says. "We were not informed of all the incidents because one of them took place outside the 43rd Ward."

"That has to change," she said.

As Victim One, she wonders how many more there are.

"Only three people have spoken up, but that doesn't mean there are other people out there who were sexually assaulted by him," she says.

DePaul authorities say public safety personnel will escort students home late at night. They urge students to stay focused and not be distracted by smart phones as they walk to their destinations.


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