Yale student avoids abduction

A 25-year old Yale student fended off an attempted abduction while jogging Sunday morning, according to an e-mail from New Haven police spokeswoman Bonnie Winchester.

The student was jogging at about 9:00 a.m. near 340 Livingston Street when a man seized her and tried to pull her into his car. The student escaped and contacted police, who apprehended Eric Sanchez, 21, that evening in connection with the crime, Winchester said.

Sanchez, of 95 Spring Street, was arrested and charged with criminal attempt to commit kidnapping in the second degree, unlawful restraint in the second degree and assault in the third degree, Winchester said.

The crime occurred nearly a mile from Science Hill near East Rock Park.

Yale police Lt. Michael Patten said the crime occurred in an area not patrolled by University police, and the city is handling the investigation. Police believe the crime is an isolated incident, Patten said.

“I can’t remember off the top of my head anything like this happening in a long time,” he said.

The student told police that while jogging she saw a grey four-door vehicle. Later she saw the same car, which appeared to be empty, parked on Livingston Street. As she passed the car, a man who was standing outside the vehicle grabbed her arm, Winchester said.

The student screamed, broke free, and found a group of passersby who called the police. The description she gave of the suspect led police to Sanchez, who was picked up at 6:30 p.m. in the area of Lombard and Ferry Streets.

Yale police Chief James Perrotti sent an e-mail about the incident Monday to all Yale students.

“There have been several high profile incidents in our city recently which reminds us all of the importance of practicing good crime prevention,” Perrotti said in the e-mail. “This is particularly important during the summer months when so many people are on vacation and fewer people are on the street. Please be attentive to your personal safety and security.”

In addition to the attempted abduction, Perrotti was likely referring to five apparently random shootings committed with the same gun early last week. The city assigned nearly all its detectives to investigate the shootings, arresting two men and implicating three others in the crimes Friday.

Yale spokesman Tom Conroy declined to say in what school of the University the student is enrolled.

About 600 undergraduates are currently taking summer classes at Yale, and others are working in summer jobs and internships. Another 700 high school-age students are on campus for the Exploration Summer Program.

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