Some UNC students concerned alert issued late after Chapel Hill sex assault

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – Chapel Hill police are searching for a suspect involved in a sexual assault that happened near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill early Friday morning.

According to police, the assault happened in the parking deck of Shortbread Lofts in the 300 block of Rosemary Street in Chapel Hill.

Police along with K-9 units responded to the scene around 3 a.m. and began searching the area shortly after the assault was reported.

Authorities have still not said if they believe the assault was random or if the victim and suspect knew each other.

People in the area who CBS 17 spoke with said they are on edge.

“It’s definitely unsettling to hear that it happened right here,” said Annie Chou, a resident who lives in the area.

Some UNC-Chapel Hill students who live in the area said they didn’t get an alert from UNC about the sexual assault until hours later.

Officials with UNC told CBS 17 that since the incident happened on town property, they had to wait until Chapel Hill police released info so campus police wouldn’t impede the investigation.

Chapel Hill police told CBS 17 their top priority was getting to the scene and catching the suspect.

Police said that gathering the information and getting it out to the community takes time.

But students said they think people in the community should have been notified sooner.

“I would have liked to have received it a little earlier considering that my friends and I do go out, not necessarily weeknights and not necessarily on Rosemary Street, but we do go out and this is something that puts us in danger,” said Lexi Peterson, at a student a UNC.

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