UCM students on alert after student reports being assaulted on campus

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WARRENSBURG, Mo. -- For the last two days students at the University of Central Missouri have had many safety concerns. Their worry comes after police say a female student reported being assaulted on campus.

"It's really scary just to think anyone around you can just do that to you," said Samantha House, a freshman at UCM.

The victim told investigators around 3 a.m. Monday she was in the laundry room at Houts/Hosey Hall, a coed dormitory, when someone sneaked up behind her and grabbed her.

"A lot of people are talking about it and I think it really is a big deal because someone could've got hurt, "said House.

"Right now, I feel safe. I think it's kind of scary that it happened in a laundry room. All of us go down there to do laundry," said UCM freshman Christina Ross.

Fortunately, police say the victim got away safely and wasn't hurt. Investigators are not releasing the woman's age, year in school or anymore details about her.

In the meantime, a UCM spokesman said shortly after the assault their Department of Public Safety sent out a campus-wide alert to students, faculty and staff.

However, it turns out about 12,000 students never received the first notice due to a computer glitch. Campus police fixed the problem, and about 12 hours after the assault, resent the alert to all students.

"Anytime something happens that concerns a student and might be a safety issue, we have to take it very serious and we're taking this matter very seriously," said UCM Spokesman Jeff Murphy.

Murphy says police and uniformed, student employees patrol the dormitories and campus on foot at night. After 10 p.m. students must use their keys to get inside their dorms.

UCM also offers a free app called "Campus Eye" to students and it's available through both the iTunes store and the Android Marketplace. Students can download it to their cellphones and report suspicious activity or crimes on campus.

Freshman Latoria Sargent is keeping her eyes open.

"I'm just concerned about my own safety concerning the fact that a lady got grabbed. It kind of makes me worry," said Sargent.

Police admit they don't have much to go on at this time and have few details about the person who assaulted the student. Anyone with information should call UCM's Department of Public Safety at (660) 543-4123.

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