Suspects at large after Old Dominion sex assault

Posted at 9:59 PM, Nov 13, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-14 08:52:09-05

NORFOLK, Va. -- When an alert about a sexual assault at Old Dominion University showed up in students' phones Tuesday night, it wasn't just the message that had some students upset.

"I was just a little concerned because it [was reported] on Monday and we didn't get it until, yesterday was what, Tuesday? And we didn't get it until 6 o'clock at night," Old Dominion University junior Mikey Fenn said.

"It's called an ODU alert," student Briana Smith said. "We're supposed to be alerted when these things are happening so we can better protect ourselves."

According to the alert, someone was sexually assaulted in a campus dorm early Saturday. The assault involved three suspects the victim did not know. They were at the dorm for a party and had been let inside by a friend of someone who lived there, according to WTKR.

The assault was reported on Monday, but it wasn't until Tuesday night that students were notified.

Once she did get the alert, Fenn said she still had questions.

"I just kind of wish they could have gone more in depth. I understand they can only go with what they're given, but if they could give us at least the residence hall," he said.

NewsChannel 3 reached out to university officials, but a spokesperson said the university could not release more information about what happened or where, saying they are early in the investigation and want to protect the victim's identity.

A spokesperson did say the alert was sent as soon as they determined students could still be at risk. According to the spokesperson, it was late in the day Monday when the assault was reported and the investigation actually began.

ODU police are still looking for the three suspects and say they have increased security around the residence halls.

If you know anything about the assault, call ODU police at 757-683- 4000.

The entire alert sent to students can be seen below:

The Old Dominion University Police Department is investigating a sexual assault that was reported on Nov. 10, 2014, and which occurred in the early morning hours of Saturday, Nov. 8.

While the University Police investigation is in a preliminary stage, it appears the suspects were invited to a social gathering in a University residence hall by an acquaintance of a resident. The investigation has determined there is a reasonable belief these individuals may pose an ongoing threat to the campus community. The suspects are not known to the victim.

Suspect 1: Black male with long dread locks; last seen wearing a white sweat shirt and dark pants
Suspect 2: Black male with short corn rows; last seen wearing camouflage pants
Suspect 3: Black male with very short hair; last seen wearing black/blue shirt, dark pants and shoes
As a result of this incident, University police and security patrols have been increased in areas near residence halls. All members of the University community are reminded to limit guests in residence halls to individuals that are personal acquaintances and to follow guest registration policies that are designed for the safety of the resident hall community.

University Police also suggest members of the campus community follow these additional safety tips:

Contact police regarding suspicious persons
Trust your instincts
If you feel unsafe, get to a safe place and call for help
Never feel obligated to do anything you don't want to
"I don't want to" is always a good enough reason
Anyone with information on this assault is asked to call Old Dominion University Police at 757-683- 4000.