Man arrested for groping female students at SDSU - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man arrested for groping female students at SDSU

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8/CNS) - A 19-year-old man arrested on suspicion of groping four San Diego University students also was arrested on the UC Riverside campus earlier in the year, police confirmed Thursday.

Officers from the SDSU Police Department arrested Minda Shewangizaw early Tuesday on campus after four women reported a man had groped them, according to a campus police crime log and Lt. Matthew Conlon.

Two students called police just after 12:30 a.m. from near the Aztec Corner Apartments on Montezuma Road and reported the assailant had groped them over their clothing, Conlon said. The man touched one of the women from behind and one on her chest area before fleeing into the alley behind the apartments.

"At that point, we weren't able to find the suspect," Conlon said. "But about 45 minutes to an hour later we received reports of a similar type of thing, of a man groping two women over their clothing."

Sophomores Audrey Espinosa and Meghan O'Connell say they didn't hear about this incident, but say they often feel safe on campus. They say the school sends alerts and promotes awareness on how to be safe. 

"I know you like to think it's safe around campus, but it's been something drilled into us by our parents [to] always be with a buddy at least," said O'Connell. 

Campus officers responded to that assault on the Aztec Student Union pedestrian bridge at 1:15 a.m., Conlon said. While interviewing victims and witnesses, officers spotted a man matching the suspect description and detained him.

Shewangizaw, who is not an SDSU student, was arrested and booked into the San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of sexual battery, touching a person intimately and annoying a child under 18. Court records show Shewangizaw was no longer in custody Thursday.

But Tuesday's arrest wasn't the first time Shewangizaw has been arrested on a college campus this year. A UC Riverside police officer confirmed Shewangizaw was arrested on the campus May 22 and booked into a Riverside County Jail on assault and false imprisonment charges. Further details of the arrest were not available.

Riverside District Attorney's office spokesman John Hall said there was no criminal case in his office against Shewangizaw. Hall said UC Riverside police may not have forwarded their case for prosecution.

SDSU police detectives were aware of Shewangizaw's May arrest on the Riverside campus and are "looking into it," Conlon said.

"They've been in contact with Riverside authorities to see what the circumstances were," the lieutenant said.

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