Campus police at UC Irvine are categorizing an incident Tuesday morning involving a female student and a man driving a Toyota Rav 4 as an attempted kidnapping.
She is safe, thankfully.
Around 5:40 a.m. she was walking in the 200 block of Arroyo Drive, where she was approached by the stranger—described only as a male with light complexion—who was behind the wheel of a blue, four-door, older model Rav 4 with an unknown object dangling from the rearview mirror, according to UCI Police Chief Jorge Cisneros.
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The man asked the student if she needed a ride and she told him she did not, which prompted him to inform he had a gun, says Cisneros, who added the female still refused to get in the vehicle. The driver then took off west on Arroyo Drive toward California Avenue. Here is what that area looks like:
The scary encounter comes after Saturday's equally frightening incident in a UCI dorm room. As Cisneros previously reported, a man claiming to be a resident assistant knocked on the door of a female student, who let him enter around 3 a.m. Saturday. He went on to touch her inappropriately, which prompted her to call for help, at which time the intruder fled.
Cisneros described that attacker as 19-20 years old, 5-foot-8, 150 pounds, with a medium complexion, black, slicked back hair and last seen wearing black gauged earrings, a white t shirt, black jogger pants and Nike running shoes.
Campus police have not publicly drawn a connection between the two incidents, but do point potential witnesses or tipsters to the same phone number to leave information: 949.824.5223. Cisneros also notes that the UCI Police Department Safety Escort Program is available to anyone who call 949.824.SAFE (7233), and he advises anyone who feels s/he is being followed to cross the street, yell, run and look for a well-lit area or occupied building and dial 9-1-1.