Bowling Green Police are investigating a burglary and assault that happened about a mile away from WKU’s campus on the 700-block of East 14th Avenue.
A 19-year-old woman told police that upon returning home from work around 5 p.m., she noticed a Hispanic man standing near her driveway. She did not interact with the stranger.
The woman told police she entered her home through the front door and did not see anything unusual initially. As she crossed the threshold to her bedroom, she saw an arm sticking out from behind the door.
The woman told police that a different Hispanic man stood in her bedroom with a six to eight inch long kitchen knife. She repeatedly apologized as the man said, “Shh, I’m not going to hurt you.”
She told police the man then threw her on the bed and instructed her to lay on her stomach. The man hit her several times on the back of her head and her face.
The woman told police she struggled with the man, and both individuals fell to the floor. The man used both of his hands to strangle her, as she continued swinging and scratching at him. The woman’s vision blurred, and she began to lose consciousness.
The woman stated that something startled the man, and he ran out of the bedroom. The woman then locked her bedroom door before exiting her window, which opens on an alley. She ran, screaming for help and knocking on every door she passed.
The woman found help on High Street. Police responded to this location. According to the police report, the left side of the woman’s face was swollen to the size of a grapefruit.
The woman was transported to the Medical Center.
According to a Facebook post made by the woman, she was released from the hospital later that night.
“Luckily I just went home … with severe bruises and cuts. If you guys could just continue to pray for me, it would be much appreciated. I’m a fighter, and I am beyond lucky to be alive right now,” the woman wrote in the Facebook post, which has since received over 900 shares.
Officers also responded to the woman’s residence to secure the scene. According to the police report, it is believed that the suspect entered the home through an unlocked bedroom window. The woman’s roommate told officers the window is intentionally left unlocked in case either of the women forget their keys.
Officers took photos of the scene and lifted two fingerprints from the window glass. Fingernail clippings were taken from the woman while she was at the hospital, as she had scratched the suspect. The fingerprints, nail clippings and the woman’s clothes were sent to the lab.
When the woman returned home, she was unable to locate her iPhone. The officers attempted to locate the phone using the Find My iPhone app and SnapChat, but they were unable to locate it.
Police have not arrested the suspect. The woman described the suspect and the stranger near her driveway the same way. She said both were 5’7”, 160 pound, Hispanic men in their 30s or 40s.
Although the crime occured off-campus, some WKU students are voicing concerns.
“I feel a little safer since I am in a dorm right now, but it makes me nervous walking back to my dorm at night,” Van Lear sophomore Lauren McCoart said. “And also, I will be living in an apartment complex [next semester] that doesn’t really have any security.”
Aurora, Illinois, junior Dylan Olsen said the crime has not had as big of an impact on him.
“It hasn’t changed how I act, which is weird because it probably should have,” Olsen said. “I’ve always locked my door, since I don’t trust people in McCormack. I feel like since it was off-campus, it won’t happen to me. I also feel like, as a guy, I don’t have to worry as much as a girl would, which shows how messed up our society is.”
The woman could not be reached for comment, but she is not listed as a student in the WKU directory.
Any information about the crime can be directed to the Bowling Green Police Department.
News reporter Olivia Eiler can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected] Follow Olivia on Twitter at @oliviaeiler16.