Police say man tried to rob and sexually assault woman at her apartment near U of M

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A woman’s life was turned upside down in an instant when police say she was attacked at her apartment.

Investigators say a man came up to her and demanded money while she was standing outside her apartment on Spottswood near the University of Memphis Sunday. Police say he then forced her inside and tried to sexually assault her. They say he knocked out some of her teeth and possibly broke her jaw in the process.

Saul Banat has two young sisters who live in the area and go to the university.

“I feel sick knowing that someone’s out in this area… trying to do that,” Banat said.

According to MPD crime stats, the attack is one of at least seven violent crimes reported in the area in just the last two weeks. One of the notable incidents also happened on Spottswood where a Tigers’ football player was shot in the leg. 

19-year-old sophomore Tiara White is scared by everything that’s happened.

“Especially because like there’s only two of us, me and my friend. She’s also a female,” White said, “When we come out here most of the time we’re by ourselves.”

Thankfully, she’s seen more campus and Memphis police patrolling the neighborhood in recent days. Officials say it’s part of a coordinated effort to keep people safe.

“Knowing that they’re increasing presence yeah that makes me feel a little better,” Banat said.

As for the woman attacked at her apartment, police say the assailant eventually ran off without getting anything. Investigators posted a picture of a suspect on social media Wednesday.

“I hope they get him,” Banat said.

Anyone with information about that incident or any other recent crimes in the area is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

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