Fourth woman assaulted in a week in downtown Ann Arbor

Man yelled racial slurs at woman before assaulting her

ANN ARBOR – A University of Michigan student was assaulted on July 22 in downtown Ann Arbor, according to a release by the U-M Division of Public Safety and Security.

The incident occurred at around 4:22 p.m. when she was parking her car near Liberty and Division streets. A man who was riding a bike approached her and shouted violent racial slurs before punching her in the face.

The victim’s right eye sustained an injury and at the time she declined medical care.

The victim described the suspect as a middle-aged black male with a medium build, medium skin tone who is about 5′11′'. At the time of the assault, he was wearing a navy and yellow block M hat and a dark shirt. He was last seen riding what may have been a silver mountain bike northbound on Liberty.

The Ann Arbor Police Department is investigating the incident.

The attack followed a weekend of assaults on women in the downtown area, all of which occurred at night. Three separate women, some U-M students, were attacked on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights by a man who appeared out of nowhere. Two women were punched in the face and told to be quiet while another woman was forced into a public toilet. In all three cases, the women were able to fight off the attacker and run away.

Lt. Bonnie Theil with AAPD told A4 that police believe two separate suspects carried out the weekend and midday attacks.

Read: Ann Arbor police: Attacks on three women still under investigation, public should remain alert

“We advise residents and visitors in Ann Arbor to be extra vigilant and aware of their surroundings when walking around,” read the DPSS release. “Look assertive and trust your intuition. If a particular situation makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, choose an alternative. We also recommend walking with a friend or co-worker and avoiding isolated areas.

“If you feel threatened, look for a blue light emergency phone on campus or call 911 from any phone. If you see something, say something, report suspicious behavior by calling 911.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the U-M Division of Public Safety and Security at 734-763-1131 or the Ann Arbor Police Department Tip Line at 734-794-6939.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.