A Towson State University student was raped in a wooded area of northern Baltimore County yesterday after being abducted in her car from a campus parking garage, authorities reported.
The incident -- the second sexual attack against a student on the Towson campus this year -- began at about noon as the 20-year-old victim was entering her car on the rooftop level of the five-story Towsontown garage, university police Chief Stephen J. Murphy said.
The woman, a commuting student, was shoved into her blue 1980 Chevette with her head pushed below the --board and was driven about 20 miles to a rural area near Falls and Mount Zion roads. There she was ordered at knifepoint to walk into the woods, where she was raped, Chief Murphy said.
She was left in the woods, otherwise unharmed, as the man fled in her car. It was found parked at about 3:30 p.m. on the second level of the garage, the police chief said.
The victim walked to a nearby home, where police were called and took her to the rape-crisis center at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. "Because the initial incident happened in our jurisdiction, they notified us," Chief Murphy said.
The rapist was described as white, about 22 years old, 5 feet 10 or 11 inches tall, with a medium build and light-brown hair. He was wearing blue jeans and a light-blue oxford shirt, the victim told police.
In July -- in the first Towson campus rape in five years -- a boarding student helping with a campus orientation program was forced into her room in a 224-bed dormitory building and raped. That attack, which also occurred at about noon, remains unsolved. Descriptions of the attackers do not match.
Towson State students who learned about yesterday's rape through warning notices placed around campus said they were especially shocked because of the time of day it occurred.
"It's bad enough at night to try to find somebody who's not busy or studying to walk with you to your car," said Michele Flynn, a junior who lives on campus.
Ann Hodges, another junior, said the campus police do a good job of patrolling the area. But she said that the parking garage where the rape occurred was "kind of secluded" and that she now intended to avoid going there alone.
Police include the garage in random patrols of the campus but do not have an officer assigned there around the clock, the chief said.
Christopher Kadish, a 19-year-old sophomore, said the university should think about beginning a campus watch.
Chief Murphy said there has been a crime watch program in the residence halls for several years.
"We're doing everything we can to enhance police visibility on campus," the police chief said. "The main thing is to make people aware that this can occur."