AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police are searching for a man who they say kidnapped and sexually assaulted a woman in the Hyde Park area on Wednesday night.
The victim told police she was leaving a friend’s apartment around 8 p.m. in the 900 block of Duncan Lane, which is right off Red River Street, when she was hit from behind and knocked unconscious. Police say when she regained consciousness, she was inside an unknown person’s apartment where she was sexually assaulted.
“[When she woke up], she was once again, violently struck and lost consciousness again,” said APD Asst. Chief Joseph Chacon. He says when she woke up a second time she was on the side of the road.
The victim said the suspect dropped her off a block from where she was originally kidnapped. The victim told police she did not get a good look at the suspect and can only describe him as a Hispanic male.
Chacon says even though the case is in the very early stages of the investigation, the department is trying to get the word out to remind people who live in the area to be alert.
“This is very concerning to us because we don’t have that many stranger assaults occur. And when we have this, we don’t want this to continue and any other victims,” said Chacon.
“I’ve definitely had to start parking my car up at the front under the light, because if I parked over there it got broken into about three times last year,” Kelli Hannan said, who lives on Duncan Lane.
Hannan said her break-ins are a far cry from a sexual assault.
“That’s the only thing I’ve ever been concerned about is just people at night going into my car but never my safety–at all,” Hannan said. “In the afternoon, there’s always people around, Red River is super busy, just never been something I’ve thought about.”
UT student Francisca Bon, who also lives in the area, had another take. “I think it’s always good to get the word out but it doesn’t all of a sudden mean that this is not a safe place anymore,” Bon said. “Obviously we really want the person who did it to get caught, but I don’t think it would be a good idea to kind of scare everyone off the street.”
It’s a street Hannan says she’ll now walk with more caution.
“I had no idea. So just, I wouldn’t have been as alert,” Hannan said.
If you were in the area Wednesday night and saw something that could be of use, you’re asked to contact the Sex Crimes Unit at 512-974-5095 or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS or text “Tip 103” + your message to CRIMES or use the new Crime Stoppers App.