Police continue investigation in Gardner-Webb rape

by: Ken Lemon Updated:

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BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. —

Police are on extra patrol at Gardner-Webb University after a woman was attacked and raped on campus. Authorities said the attack happened shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Police will interview the victim Friday after giving her some time to clear her mind.

Gardner-Webb University police said it was a bold attack because it happened on a well-lighted and heavily-traveled walking trail between the student center and residence halls.

The victim said she was walking Tuesday night when a stranger overpowered her and sexually assaulted her.
She told police he had a beard with a southern accent.

Students Abby Bennett and Brianne Osborne were walking in the same area today.

"Before it happened, I didn't think anything about walking by myself," Osborne said.

Bennett said, "That they would do something that mean to a person, it really scares me."

In the meantime, campus police are doubling its patrols at night.

Police sent a message to the students asking them to report any suspicious activity Tuesday night.

They have not received any responses.

A security camera in the residence halls recorded a group of male students walking nearby at about the same time of the assault.

Police hope to talk to those students to see if they saw anything suspicious.

"What we will probably do is do some knock-and-talks in that area just to visit those people and see if there is anything they remember about that night," said Chief Barry Johnson with the university police department.

Campus police also asked the town police department to assist in the investigation.

"We certainly would like a quick outcome, but we are going to do everything we can do in a thorough fashion," Johnson said.

The police are asking for students to not walk alone.