The stabbing of a UC Irvine student late Sunday while she walked her dog around a student apartment community on campus stunned some students who said they usually feel safe at the university.
The stabbing was reported shortly before 10 p.m. near the Camino del Sol apartments in the 33000 block of Arroyo Drive, according to campus police.
“It was shocking,” sophomore Miranda Gutierrez said Monday morning as students rushed to classes.
Yara Aceta, a postdoctoral researcher, has lived in nearby campus housing for four months. She said she heard police and helicopters in the area for “at least 30 minutes” Sunday night but didn’t know the reason until learning about the stabbing later.
She said the incident “surprised” her because the area is usually “safe and calm.” She said she often walks alone on campus at night.
“It feels safe,” Aceta said.
The 22-year-old stabbing victim told authorities that a man with a large build and wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt attacked her from behind, hit her over the head and stabbed her. He also tried to remove her clothing, UCI spokesman Tom Vasich said.
The woman, an undergraduate student, was taken to a hospital, where her condition was stable, 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.”
Gutierrez, who lives in the Vista del Campo complex across the street from where the stabbing occurred, said she was away from her dorm when she got the Zot Alert. She stayed at the Crawford Clubhouse for the nearly two hours the campus was on lockdown.
“I had to run back to my apartment” when the lockdown was lifted, she said.
The attacker has not been located.
“More people are more alert due to the fact that he wasn’t caught,” Gutierrez said.
Authorities asked that anyone with information about the case call UCI police at (949) 824-5223.
Julia Sclafani is a Daily Pilot staff writer. Hannah Fry writes for the Los Angeles Times.