Female student assaulted outside University of Winnipeg, police say

A female student at the University of Winnipeg was grabbed by a man riding a mountain bike on campus Friday morning, according to Winnipeg police.

Student was walking through green space on campus Friday morning when she was grabbed from behind

A female University of Winnipeg student was touched inappropriately on Friday, March 16 while walking on campus. Winnipeg police are still looking for the male who assaulted her. (Donna Lee/CBC)

A female student at the University of Winnipeg was grabbed by a man riding a mountain bike on campus Friday morning, Winnipeg police say.

Students were notified through a push alert sent to cellphones minutes after the woman was assaulted. She was not physically injured.

The woman was walking through a stretch of park area called the Richardson Green Corridor, located between Langside Street and Young Street, and Portage Avenue and Ellice Avenue. 

Winnipeg police are looking for a male who was wearing a dark hoodie and grey sweatpants.

They hope security footage will shed light on the approximate age of the attacker and other details that will help them find him. The victim was attacked from behind, Winnipeg police say.

Laura Garinger, president of the University of Winnipeg Students' Association, says while she largely feels safe in the downtown area, it was scary to hear about the assault.

"It was a little bit jarring," said Garinger. "It was during the daytime. I think that one of the ongoing things that has been happening this year, in particular, is that we're seeing things that are more blatant — right in the light of day."

A University of Manitoba student was attacked around 10:30 on the morning of Jan. 23 at a bus stop outside Portage Place, blocks away from the University of Winnipeg. He was treated in hospital for injuries to his head and face.

Garinger, who meets monthly with university security, says she will raise the Friday incident with them when they meet next on March 26.

"I think that a lot of the fears that people have about coming downtown and studying in a downtown campus just get exacerbated when stories like this happen," she said.

CBC has contacted University of Winnipeg administration for comment, but has yet to receive a response.

Garinger said she has not received any additional information about the attack aside from the push notification. She said she expects to find out more from university administration or security personnel on Monday.

The push alert sent to University of Winnipeg staff and students on Friday, March 16. (CBC)