A week after one Mesa Court student was sexually assaulted, another female student was groped in Parking Lot 3-A by an unidentified male suspect, who introduced himself to the victim as “Danny.” The suspect claimed to be attending another unknown university and was reported to be a 21-year-old Asian male with short black hair and brown eyes, standing 6-foot-1 and weighing 160 pounds. A message was sent out via e-mail by the UC Irvine Police Department on Friday, May 30 at 6:38 a.m.
The victim reported to UCIPD that she had been with her attacker in his silver car at 11 p.m. While in the car Danny unzipped her jeans and touched the victim’s pubic hair. When the victim verbally protested, the assailant continued the assault by reaching into her shirt and grabbing her breasts. This led the victim to exit the automobile and run for her safety. Although Danny reportedly followed the victim for 100 yards and called after her, he gave up his pursuit and decided to drive away, allowing her to escape.
The victim first encountered Danny while waiting in front of Langson Library. Although she did not know her attacker, the two talked in front of the library for two hours before the assailant suggested that they go to the Anthill Pub and Grille, to which the victim agreed.
According to the e-mail sent out by UCIPD, the two arrived at the Pub at 7:30 p.m. and drank several beers each, over the time span of two hours without consuming any food. At 9:30 p.m. the victim said that she was tired and told Danny that she had to go home. Upon hearing this, Danny offered the female student a ride, which she accepted.
Mandy Mount, director of Campus Assault Resource Education, noted that students should know their boundaries in potentially dangerous situations where alcohol is involved.
“When not with a trusted group of people, it is best to know and understand your limits and to draw boundaries that will allow you to recognize and respond to a threat if it is presented,” Mount said.
Mount also noted that those drinking in the company of strangers should pay attention to the alcohol they are consuming and that friends can be of help in such scenarios.
“[B]e aware of watching your drink, as many drugs can be easily slipped into drinks without a noticeable change in the taste or color of the beverage. Friends can also help by supporting each other and ensuring that their friends remain safe,” Mount said.
After the pair got into the assailant’s car in Parking Lot 1, Danny drove out of the parking lot and quickly arrived at Parking Lot 3-A, located off of Pereira Drive. As the parking lot was vacant, this enabled Danny to assault the victim without any witnesses.
Once she escaped, the victim waited outside Langson Library until 1 a.m., at which time she was assisted by bystanders who notified UCIPD.
Mount approved of the bystanders’ actions noting that if observers do not take action when they witness abuse, the offender may strike again.
“It’s important for people to get involved when they witness a situation that could lead to a sexual assault taking place. Perpetrators who are not held accountable through their social environment have no reason to discontinue the behavior. We can all speak up to create a culture that is less permissive of sexual violence,” Mount said.
Because such few details have been released about the attacker, male students on campus have been accused of being the attacker. One such student was Danny Eusebio, a third-year aerospace engineering major, who said that aside from being named Danny, he also fit several other details in the assailants description such as being Asian, having short black hair, brown eyes and standing 6-foot-1.
“People that I talked to certainly … knew it wasn’t me” Eusebio said. “My only thought was: what about the other people that only know me by my face and my name?”
Although Eusebio admitted he had feared people would confuse him with the assailant, he generally agreed with the descriptions that UCIPD releases for such crimes. According to Eusebio such accusations are an unfortunate byproduct of useful police investigations.
“I think what they’re doing is fine. … It lets people know what’s happening throughout campus,” Eusebio said.
Individuals who have any information about the suspect or witnessed any portion of the incident are encouraged to call UCIPD at 949-824-5223.