On Monday morning, just after 10 a.m., a man strolled into a coed dormitory building on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and sexually assaulted a female student who was taking a shower.
The shocking attack occurred in a bathroom at the Commons South residence hall, located in the 700-block of South Halsted, just southwest of Chicago’s Loop.
Other students who live in the residence hall heard the assault as it was happening and managed to detain the suspect until the cops arrived on the scene, reports WLS-TV.
The details concerning how the students held the suspect captive are fuzzy.
“Students either heard cries of the victim or commotion and called UIC police,” said UIC spokesman Bill Burton, according to WLS. “In the time it took them to respond, they managed to detain or at least impede the escape of the suspect.”
The suspect – described only as a man in his 20s who has no affiliation with UIC – is now in police custody. As of Tuesday morning, charges had not yet been filed.
School officials are describing the attack as “a brazen crime,” according to DNAinfo Chicago. They are also describing the actions of the first-responder students as “heroic.”
UIC bureaucrats say they have no idea how the rapist managed to gain entry into the five-story dormitory, which houses nearly 200 students.
UIC police are increasing patrols in and around UIC’s dorms. School officials are reminding students to be mindful around the dorm’s various security doors.
Meanwhile, students are on edge.
“It’s scary knowing it was so easy for him to get in,” student Deenal Amin told DNAinfo. “There’s security here, and they still got in.”
Another student, Sheryl Mathews, was more cynical.
“Honestly, I wasn’t surprised at all,” Mathews told DNAinfo. “It’s so easy for people to walk in and do what they want to.”