BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Police are on the hunt for a man who reportedly sexually assaulted and threatened to kill a Lehigh University student.
It happened just half a mile from campus and so far, no suspect is in custody.
Bethlehem Police is taking the lead on this case, with the help of Lehigh University Police. They're asking anyone with information to help them identify and track down the man responsible by calling Lehigh University Police at 610-758-4200 or Bethlehem Police at 610-865-7000.
The construction site at Brighton Street and 378 in Bethlehem is passed countless times a day by families and college students, and is just down the street from a hospital.
"I feel like it's a pretty safe area," said Emma Page, a Lehigh University grad student who lives nearby.
"There's a lot of people around," said Rodney Austin, who works nearby and is from the area. "There's a lot of homes being built, a lot of work going on, so I'm very surprised that it happened here."
He's surprised, because this is where a Lehigh University student reported a man came up from behind, restrained, and sexually assaulted them. The student told police the suspect then threatened to kill them if they said anything about what happened.
The suspect is about 5-foot-10, with a heavy build and a beard. He was reportedly wearing a flannel shirt when the incident happened on Monday, Sept. 13 between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
The gender of the victim has not been released.
The crimes were reported Monday. Page received an alert from Lehigh University that evening.
"I was actually out here walking my dog when I got the email, so I was really scared," said Page.
The school is reminding students about counseling resources, how they can report assaults, and that they can request a walking safety escort after dark by calling university police.
The HawkWatch personal safety app also gives students "virtual walk home" or "friend walk" options.
"I'm definitely not going to walk my dog at night ever again, and I carry my pepper spray all the time now," said Page.
Authorities are urging students to walk in groups at night and to stay in well-lit areas when possible.