• Surveillance photos released of possible suspect in Gainesville attacks

    By: Leslie Coursey


    GAINESVILLE, Fla. - University of Florida police say they'll step up patrols after three students were attacked.

    Sarah Mahajan is a University of Florida student from Jacksonville. She and her friends will be sticking together this weekend as news of an attack on campus spreads.

    "I've always felt safe on campus. So it's a little disturbing that all of these attacks have been happening," she said.

    It's the fourth attack in Gainesville in a week. Two sexual assault attempts were reported Saturday about a block off campus. A third victim was beaten and raped farther from campus, on Northeast 15th Street. And a fourth victim was attacked early this morning, on campus, near Library West. But she managed to get away without serious injury.

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    "(She) punched him in the face," said Maj. Brad Barber, with the UF Police Department. "Created some distance and separation. The suspect fled, and she went the other way."

    Investigators believe the three attacks near the school are related.

    Gainesville police released surveillance video from Saturday showing a possible suspect walking along West University Avenue. 

    "It's a little bit sketchy that people would be doing this stuff," said UF student Becky Fisher.

    Until the attacker is caught, students say they're on alert.

    "Definitely travel with a buddy. I'm definitely not going to go anywhere alone," said Mahajan.

    University police said they're increasing patrols on and around campus, especially along sorority row.

    RELATED: Man suspected in attack near UF campus sought by police

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