Chapel Hill police searching for man spotted in area where sexual assault occurred

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — Chapel Hill Police want to identify a man spotted on surveillance video in the area where a sexual assault took place near UNC Friday.

Police say the man in the video matches the description of the suspect and was seen in the area around the time of the assault.

The sexual assault happened around 3:00 a.m. Friday in the parking deck of the Shortbread Lofts on Rosemary Street. The building is a popular off-campus housing spot for UNC students.

“We have a lot of friends who live here, and never thought anything would happen,” said UNC junior Parker Payne.

Police say after the assault was reported, officers and a K-9 unit immediately searched the area but didn’t find the person responsible.

Payne says he and his friends are now taking extra precautions at night.

“We’ve heard a lot about it so we’re both making sure all the girls walk home safely,” Payne said.

UNC graduate Crystal Gore lives in Chapel Hill.

“It makes me a little nervous,” she said.

Gore says while the neighborhood along Rosemary Street is very student friendly, she says she doesn’t always feel safe.

“It’s not fair because I should be able to go wherever I want, do whatever I want, wear whatever I want, whenever I want. That is my truth and I feel like every girl should be able to do that,” said Gore.

Anyone with information about the assault is asked to call the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760, or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515.

Calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential and anonymous, and the caller may be eligible for a cash reward up to $2,000 for information that leads to arrest.

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