College student allegedly sexually assaulted by teen near canal - FOX 35 News Orlando

College student allegedly sexually assaulted by teen near canal

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

A 19-year-old college student was allegedly sexually assaulted by a 16-year-old boy in south Phoenix.

Police say the alleged attack happened around 12:30 p.m. on Thursday in front of several witnesses.

A lot of people walk along the canal bank near 24th Street and Baseline and they say the incident has shaken their sense of security.

"That just blows me away. I just cannot believe it," said Mindy Lindner.

Lindner walks her dogs in the area twice a day. It's a routine she's had for the past nine years.

"I definitely feel safe walking up and down the canal," said Lindner.

Now, nerves are rattled.

Phoenix police say a 19-year-old woman was walking along the canal when the boy came up behind her and pulled her down to an embankment in a semi-secluded area.

He allegedly strangled her until she passed out and then sexually assaulted her.

A witness saw two people in a struggle on the canal bank and, thinking they were two men fighting, called authorities.

Officers got there fast and say they caught him running down the street. He reportedly admitted to the assault.

Police say they have the suspect, a 16-year-old boy, in custody. The attack and the arrest happened on the south side of the canal.

According to police, marks on the victim indicate she had been choked by the suspect.

She was taken to the hospital and is expected to be all right.

The boy faces sexual abuse, sexual assault, aggravated assault and kidnapping charges. Police say they believe he will be charged as an adult.

At this point, police don't know what the motive behind the attack was; it appears to be a random act of violence.

But women we spoke with say they're not going to let it scare them away. Rather, they'll just play it safe.

"I'm gonna keep coming. I have my husband with me," said Lindner.

"I don't think I'd come by myself anymore at all," said Rosemary Perez.

Police are crediting the witness who called police right away after seeing the struggle.

They say because that witness acted fast, officers were able to catch the 16-year-old suspect before he got too far.

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