A female UST student was attacked by a man at the corner of Yoakum and Sul Ross streets one week before the fall semester began.
According to the UST Chief of Police H.E Jenkins, the victim was walking toward the science building on the morning of August 8 when the assailant, a middle-aged man not affiliated with the University, grabbed her from behind.
Another student driving on Yoakum Boulevard saw the incident and stopped to help, he said.
The victim got into that student’s car and was driven directly to the UST police station where she immediately reported the incident, Jenkins said.
He said the woman described an incident of unlawful restraint.
“Under Texas law, the definition of unlawful restraint is when a person knowingly or intentionally restrains another individual without consent or his or her authority,” he said.
A person found guilty of unlawful restraint can be sentenced to one year in county jail or fined up to a $4,000.
After the report was filed, Jenkins said the UST police department sent a patrol officer to the area of the incident. However, by the time the patrol officer arrived, officers from the Houston Police Department were already on the scene, arresting the assailant.
“Three to four HPD officers were needed to pin him down, because he was acting erratically,” Jenkins said.
HPD took him back to the station and conducted a mental evaluation, which indicated the man was on drugs.
Although the UST police department recorded the assailant as committing unlawful restraint, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office did not file charges and the assailant was released.
“He has been released back into the public, but has not been seen on campus since the incident,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins said he hopes the department will become more involved in the community to prevent similar incidents from happening again.
“Making our presence known is important,” he said, “and our priority is to care for UST students and faculty.”
Nonetheless, Jenkins said he wants students to watch out for themselves and others around them.
“Keep your eyes up and look around,” Jenkins said. “If you see something, say something.”