Penn State police investigating reported kidnapping

mdawson@centredaily.comJanuary 28, 2014 

— A Penn State student was grabbed off a campus sidewalk early Saturday morning and forced into a car during what university police are investigating as a kidnapping.

The female student escaped sometime later as the abductors were trying to sexually assault her, Penn State police said.

University spokeswoman Lisa Powers said police will review video footage from security cameras in the vicinity of the incident, which happened on Shortlidge Road near Simmons Hall around 1 a.m.

The student reported the kidnapping Tuesday.

Police said the student was alone when a dark-colored sedan stopped on Shortlidge Road. A white man got out of the car, grabbed the student off the sidewalk and forced her into the car.

Police said the car went south on Shortlidge Road toward East College Avenue.

At some unknown location, the student was forced out of the car, and that’s when the men tried to assault her, police said.

Police Chief Tyrone Parham said the woman pushed away one of the men and was able to get away. Parham said police don’t know where she was when she escaped.

Powers said the woman ran and ended up in the area of Beaver Avenue, though the specific location was not known.

The woman did not suffer any injuries that required medical attention, Parham said. Officials said they don’t know if the woman had been drinking.

One of the leads police are working is a description of the men. Police described them as college-aged, average height and weight and wearing dark hooded sweatshirts with scarves over their faces.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 863-1111 or send a tip anonymously through the police’s “Silent Witness” option on www.police.psu.edu.

Centre County Crimestoppers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. Tips can be sent to tip@centrecountycrimestoppers.org.

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