BRUNSWICK – Students at Bowdoin College were rattled Wednesday by reports of an attempted assault the night before, an incident that comes just eight days after a female student reported being raped by a stranger in her apartment.

A 20-year-old student walking home from campus said she was grabbed by the waist from behind around 8 p.m. Tuesday night as she walked alone on Potter Street. She broke free and ran away unharmed, but by the time she turned around, her attacker was gone. She was not able to provide a description.

Brunswick police are investigating that incident, as well as the Nov. 10 rape, but have not determined whether they are connected or perpetrated by the same person. Brunswick Police have released a sketch of the man suspected in the rape, a slender white male believed to be in his late 20s, but so far have not found the person responsible.

Bowdoin students said the two incidents, which took place about half a mile from each other, are concerning.

“I think because these two things happened so close together, it’s definitely scary,” said Laura Hernandez, 20, a junior from Naples, Florida. “I’ve never really not felt safe here but I think I’ve started to have more awareness.”

Sydney Hancock, a junior from Casco and member of the Bowdoin women’s basketball team, said last week’s rape and Tuesday’s attempted assault were frightening because the campus and the town of Brunswick has always felt safe.

But she also said the college has been extremely responsive to students by increasing security patrols and extending the hours of its shuttle bus program.

“It’s a great campus,” she said. “I think they are doing everything they can to make us safe.”

Paul Delancy, a junior from Chevy Chase, Maryland, said he’s never felt unsafe but said he knows many female students who are “understandably freaked out.”

Despite the collective unease, many students said the incidents have brought the campus community closer and have sparked a conversation about safety.

A Facebook page has been created to promoting a “safe walk” program that connects Bowdoin students with other students who volunteer to accompany them while walking on campus at night. By late Wednesday afternoon, the page had more than 1,500 members, nearly as many as Bowdoin’s student enrollment, which is just over 1,700.

Several students also planned to walk in a demonstration Wednesday evening with flashlights to, as one student put it, attempt to “take back the campus.”

“It would be nice if we didn’t have to worry about things like this, but it’s a reminder that this campus is part of a bigger community,” said Claudia Knox, a freshman from New York City.

In the earlier assault last Tuesday, a 19-year-old student who lived at Mayflower Apartments on Belmont Street, an off-campus apartment complex owned by Bowdoin, told police she was raped by an unknown attacker who entered her apartment through an unlocked door. She was treated at a local hospital.

The Nov. 10 incident was the first time Bowdoin sent out a “timely alert” email to students about a campus rape – a signal that there was potential danger to the community. In previously reported rapes, officials said, the victim either could identify his or her attacker or the rape was reported after a significant period of time later and there was no immediate threat to the community.

In Tuesday’s incident, a campus alert was sent to students later that night.

Brunswick Deputy Police Chief Marc Hagan said his department has gotten some tips since releasing a sketch of the alleged attacker but nothing concrete. He said detectives were planning this week to re-interview the victim in that case, who has left Bowdoin and returned to her home state.

Hagan said Brunswick officers were called Tuesday by campus security after the attempted assault and are investigating that report as well, but said they don’t have much to go on at this point.

The incidents occurred at a time of increased focus on sexual assaults on college campuses nationwide.

Bowdoin College reported 15 on-campus rapes and two off-campus rapes at college-owned property in 2014, far more than other Maine colleges of comparable size. However, last year was the first year that colleges were required to break out certain sex crimes, including rape, domestic violence and stalking, in annual Clery Act crime statistics reported to the federal government.

Bowdoin officials said that some of the rapes reported in 2014 occurred in previous years but weren’t reported until last year. When asked how many rapes actually occurred in 2014, officials said they would not separate out that number because they didn’t want to appear to be undercounting campus assaults.

College officials have said the high number also reflects the school’s effort in the past two years to increase faculty, staff and student training and education on how to report and handle reports of sexual assault.

Brunswick police also investigated a reported on-campus rape in May. In that case, former Bowdoin College student Logan Taylor was indicted in October on a felony charge of gross sexual assault after being accused of raping a female student in his dorm room.

The college reported six forcible sex offenses on campus in 2013, four in 2012 and seven in 2011.

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