Students at an Inland Empire college are on alert after a knife-wielding attacker who threatened a man is likely the same person who attacked two women last week, officials said.
The latest attack happened about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday outside a physical education building at Victor Valley College when a man carrying a knife threatened a student and demanded he hand over his cellphone, detectives said.
But the student didn't give in and instead hit the attacker, who ran away.
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"He decided not to give up his property, a struggle ensued," San Bernardino Sheriff's Sgt. Ken Kutz said. "He was able to strike the suspect, and then the suspect fled at that time."
Students say Tuesday night's attack only heightens the fear they already have while walking on campus at night.
"Most of the time, the hallways ... It's empty around here, so when you hear about this kind of stuff, it makes you more alert," student Genesis Quinonez said.
Detectives believe the attacker is the same man responsible for two incidents last week. In the first, a man grabbed an 18-year-old woman at Victor Valley College, reached into her pants and ripped her underwear, officials said. The woman escaped.
Hours later, the same man may have also tried to kidnap a woman a few miles from campus. He grabbed the woman to the ground and dragged her by her feet, but she kicked herself loose and ran away, officials said.
All three victims helped create a computer composite sketch of the man. The sketch shows markings where beard stubble would be because the department's computer could not render something similar, deputies said.
"Because of the software, we can't get an exact match," Lutz said. "The subject has more of a heavy five o'clock beard, not an actual beard itself."
Campus police said they are available to escort students at night.
Investigators said the man likely lives in the area, and anyone with information should call the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department.