Residents near U arm one another with information after rapes - KMSP-TV

Residents near U arm one another with information after sex assaults

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

Multiple sex assaults have been reported in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood near the University of Minnesota, and the community is fighting back to protect residents by promoting safety tips and resources.

Following the recent rape of a 19-year-old University of Minnesota student who was attacked by a group of 3 men near Van Cleve Park, neighbors say enough is enough. Now, they are focusing on how to keep young adults safe.

One by one, they meet face to face with residents walking by to make the area safer for everyone. Members of the Southeast Como Neighborhood Improvement Association were armed with fliers and warm beverages on a cold day to raise awareness just across the street from where a woman was assaulted while walking home from a party over a week ago.

"Our hope is to have a solid impact on 30 or 40 people and then have them get the word out," Ricardo McCurley told Fox 9 News.

Police have moved a surveillance camera to the intersection and have stepped up patrols around the University of Minnesota, but those who live and work nearby say they want students to be aware of their surroundings and lock their doors so they don't become victims as well.

"Southeast is our neighborhood. We care about the people in it," Brett Miller said. "We want to bring awareness and help students get a feel for it. We are family and families have to look out for one another."

Although many students do get crime alerts via e-mail, getting safety tips with a personal touch makes a big difference.

"I think it's a great idea," Stacy Hanson said. "I have to walk along this street at night at 9."

In the end, looking out for those in your community is what being a good neighbor is really all about.

Events that are open to the public will also be held in the coming days. A dinner and discussion on sexual violence will take place on Friday at Southeast Christian Church, and a solidarity march for safety will follow. 

No arrests have been reported in the Oct. 28 assault. Anyone with information is urged to call Minneapolis police.

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