UCSD students said they are alarmed that two brutal rapes took place on their campus in the past four months.
"I thought this campus was so safe because you think, it's in La Jolla, not near downtown San Diego, but it really instills in your mind that it could happen anywhere and to anyone," said student Christa Seid.
On February 3, a man ran up to a female student in the parking lot near the La Jolla Playhouse and pushed her to the ground, campus police investigators said. The suspect allegedly held her down and raped her before running toward North Torrey Pines Road.
The victim didn't report the crime until last Thursday, 16 days after the assault. Nancy Whalig, the director of UCSD's Sexual Assault & Violence Prevention Resource Center, said sometimes victims are too afraid to come forward right away.
"It takes a lot of courage to talk and share their experience with somebody they don't know," Whalig said.
Investigators won't say if they were able to collect forensic evidence from the victim or her clothing, including the suspect's DNA. But they're confident the suspect in the case is not responsible for the rape of another woman last November at a UCSD housing complex.
As police search for both suspects, students are taking extra safety precautions.
"I always try not to listen to my iPod when I'm walking at night, and I just try to be super aware of my surroundings," student Jennifer Ritter said.
According to people who use the lot located on the southwest side of the campus, the backlights aren't turned on at night.
"It does make you a little more self conscious," UCSD Student Joice Hwang said.
"You can always have a rape whistle and you can always call campus police and they'll walk you anywhere," student Christa Seid said.
Students who feel concerned about safety are being urged to use the campus escort program. Anyone with any information about the attack is asked to call campus police at 858-534-4359.