Victim in UW attack: 'I know that he's still out there'

SEATTLE -- A University of Washington graduate student was able to escape without injury when a strange man grabbed her Thursday night outside the medical center, and now she's warning other young women to be on the alert.

The woman doesn't want to be identified because she's worried about becoming a target again.

"I know that he's still out there," she said.

The 24-year-old grad student is still shaken after Thursday's frightening attack outside the School of Nursing. She said she was leaving her last class when she passed a man who was smoking a cigarette on the steps.

"So I kept walking and he was like, 'Hey," and I turned around, and when I turned around he had me in almost a choke hold," she said.

She said a couple walking their dog yelled at the man, which gave her a chance to get free and run across the street.

"I was able to run, but I didn't get very far and he tackled me," she said. "He pushed me to the ground and started telling me that he was going to take me."

The woman's grateful for the good Samaritans who scared off the attacker a second time.

"I mean, if they wouldn't have been there to help me I don't know what would have happened," she said.

The official police report on the incident is a little confusing. Seattle police met with the woman at the nearby Montlake Market, but when she first called 911 she was driving around crying. She's new to the area and told police she was at Seattle Central Community College. Because of that, UW Campus Police have no immediate plans to send out a warning to students.

Seattle police are reaching out to the woman again to verify the UW location. Despite the confusion, the woman's first concern is for other students to be on alert.

"I would just feel completely awful if somebody was attacked like I was and I never came out and told my story," she said.

The woman wasn't aware of the Huskey Nightwatch program, which is run by campus police and allows students to call for a security officer to walk them safely to their car or dorm. She said she'll be using the program in the future.