String of attacks reported in Columbia

Friday, August 21, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Police Department is investigating a string of attacks that have occurred in East Campus, downtown and northeast Columbia as far back as July 30.  

Five more recent attacks occurred between Aug. 13 and 19. According to a news release from Columbia Police, in three incidents, victims told police they were kicked and punched by a group of five to eight perpetrators. One of the attacks occurred on Park Avenue and another near the intersection of University Avenue and William Street, police said. The third attack took place near the intersection of Rosemary and William streets. 

In three other incidents, victims told police they were attacked by two perpetrators.

Police gave a common description for one perpetrator in all incidents. He is described as a black male, 5 feet 7 inches, with a thin build and shoulder length braids.  

In one incident on Aug. 13, three perpetrators were reported to be in a four-door, white vehicle.

Nothing was reported stolen in any of the attacks except for an incident at about 2 a.m. Wednesday outside the Best Western, 3100 I-70 Drive S.E. The victim involved told police her purse was stolen.

All incidents occurred in the late evening and early morning hours. All victims were alone at the time of the attacks.  

“These activities really caught our attention," Sgt. Tim Moriarity of the Columbia Police Department said Thursday. "We are going to be more attentive and aggressive."

Moriarity advised residents to walk with someone else when possible and to be aware of their surroundings.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents is encouraged to call the CrimeStoppers hot line at 875-TIPS or by going to



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