WATCH: Video shows Pennsylvania University student getting attacked in Center City

(representative image via Istock)
The suspect has reportedly been involved in prior assaults (representative image via Istock)

On Sunday, November 20, a 23-year-old student from University of Pennsylvania was assaulted by a woman in Center City, Philadelphia.

In footage of the incident captured by a bystander, a suspect in a gray sweatshirt and pink track pants can be seen hitting the student repeatedly. The student, who can be seen wearing gray sweatpants, a yellow jacket, and backpack, struggles to stand her ground.

She makes an attempt to grab her assailant's leg, but repeated strikes cause her to collapse once more.


In additional footage, the suspect could be seen walking away from the screen. Pennsylvania authorities reported that a video of the assault was released on Instagram, and is now being investigated by police.

"It happened out of nowhere": Anonymous victim shaken up by attack

According to the US Times, the anonymous student told reporters that the attack was entirely unprovoked.

The student said:

“She turned to me and started running towards me. (She) jumped on me and broke my glasses and nose."

She added that while many spectators filmed the assault, no one attempted to help her:

“It felt like it was going to be a long time without anyone stepping in. When she had me on the ground, I panicked and tried to fight back. I tried to grab her ankle to throw her off balance, but it didn’t work. She just overwhelmed me. It was scary."

The victim added that the assault had left her traumatized.

She said:

“I’m still very shaken up and need to adjust. I’m still very uncomfortable resuming normal city life because it happened out of nowhere."

Police Captain Rodger Walls said that the suspect is a known individual to police, as she has been involved in multiple attacks.

Pennsylvania authorities reported that the suspect in the incident was accused of assaulting another woman the same day. Officers reported that the first attack took place on a train at 15th Street Station, when she reportedly slammed a woman's head against the wall.

In a separate September 1 incident, she allegedly attacked another woman near Spring Garden Station.

Police Captain Rodger Walls commented on the suspect:

“The actor who is this black woman was mumbling to himself and randomly attacked her out of nowhere and then got off the train."

He continued:

“She must definitely be suffering from some kind of mental illness, so just the pictures of her on all the patrols have been going around, so we’re really on the hunt for her."

As per 34Street, while University of Pennsylvania is not traditionally considered a dangerous campus, it is still no stranger to crime. Anna Schmitt, a student at the university, told reporters from the outlet that she had considered the area safe before she saw violence firsthand.

Scmitt said that one night, she was walking on campus when a male dragged her by the ponytail, leaving her with minor injuries.

She said:

“In the past, I was privileged to live in neighborhoods where nothing ever happened. [And now] I have to think twice if I want to walk alone.”

Pennsylvania authorities have not confirmed the name of the suspect in the November 20 assault.

Quick Links

Edited by Prem Deshpande