Police seek suspect in attack on GCU student

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Police are searching for a man who attacked a Grand Canyon University student Tuesday night.

A female student reported that she was approached by a man while walking to her dorm near 31st Avenue and Camelback Road shortly before 8 p.m.

Police said she used pepper spray on the man when he started running toward her with an object appearing to be a knife.

She told police she could not understand what he was saying, but she believes he wanted to steal her backpack.

He reportedly swung the object at her several times, causing a minor injury to her stomach.

The woman blew a whistle as she ran to campus security, and the man fled without obtaining any property.

"It's very alarming to hear about that," said student Kim Knuckey, who does carry a weapon for protection.

According to a GCU security report, burglaries on campus have increased over the last few years from nine reports in 2011 to 12 reports the following year. In 2013, burglaries more than doubled with 28 reports.

"We've had a few things happen and we've always had security around. They've always been there for us," said student Brooke Dubowsky.

Phoenix police and GCU have increased patrols in the area since Tuesday's incident.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic man in his early 20s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall with a thin build. He was wearing a dark T-shirt and blue jeans. His hair and clothing appeared dirty.

Anyone with information is asked to call police, campus security or Silent Witness.