LSU on guard after attempted abduction

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Detectives are closely examining surveillance video on the Louisiana State University campus. They are looking for clues connected to an attempted abduction on Thursday near Patrick Taylor Hall.

Meanwhile, students and staff said they are doing everything they can to protect themselves.

Students walked the LSU campus on Friday, going about their daily business; classes, catching up with friends, and crossing paths with total strangers. They appeared comfortable in their environment. But some said what happened near Patrick Hall on Thursday is etched in their minds.

"I spend a lot of time at the engineering building," Miranda Smith, LSU student, said. "I have class there late, and I spend a lot of time in the communication studio. So I park out here during the day and I spend a lot of time in there and normally come out at 5, 6, 7, 8 at night."

"I especially come to Patrick Taylor, a lot and I stay here late studying and sometimes I feel kind of nervous walking to my car or walking to another place on campus," Lauren Hearst, LSU student, added.

According to LSU Police Captain Cory Lalonde, a female called police Thursday and reported she that a man waiting in a black van attempted to abduct her as she walked to her car. She told police that the man grabbed her by the arm, but she got away.

Detectives are reviewing surveillance footage to see if they can spot the suspect's van.

Meanwhile, officials encourages students to avoid walking alone at night, use campus transit, and to call LSU police for an escort if they do not feel safe.

In addition, LSU Health Promotion Coordinator, Kathy Saichuk, is facilitating a 12-hour class called Rape Aggression Defense, or RAD, where females can refresh their self-defense skills.

"How to strike back, how to release yourself out of certain holds or grabs, what if you're on the ground, what if you get knocked to the ground, what if there's more than one attacker. We cover a lot of different scenarios," Saichuk said.

Students said they are already taking steps to avoid risky situations.

The RAD class will be held on Friday, Feb. 21 at the Nelson Memorial Building. It will begin at 6:00 p.m. You do not have to be an LSU student to participate.

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