A 22-year-old UC Irvine student was stabbed while walking her dog around a student apartment community on the campus late Sunday, authorities said.
The stabbing was reported shortly before 10 p.m. near the Camino del Sol apartments in the 33000 block of Arroyo Drive.
The woman told authorities that a man with a large build wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt attacked her from behind, hit her over the head and stabbed her. The assailant tried to remove the woman’s clothing, UCI spokesman Tom Vasich said.
The woman, an undergraduate student, was taken to the hospital in stable condition, Vasich said.
Campus police sent out a “Zot Alert” text message to students urging them to “secure in place” while police searched for the man. After a nearly two-hour search, campus police sent another message to students saying they had checked the campus thoroughly and had “no reason to believe the suspect is in the area.” The attacker has not been located.
Students on the campus, which is in a city long known for its low crime rates, were shocked by the stabbing and said they typically felt safe at the university.
Yara Aceta, a postdoctoral researcher, has lived in nearby campus housing for four months and often walks alone at night without giving it much thought. She said she heard police and helicopters in the area for at least 30 minutes Sunday night but didn’t know the reason until she learned about the stabbing later.
Aceta said she was surprised by the news given that the campus was typically “safe and calm.”
Authorities are asking anyone with information to call UCI police at (949) 824-5223.