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Pullman police investigating possible attempted abduction of WSU PhD student

The student is safe, but police are still searching for the suspect at this time. In the meantime, students on campus are feeling uneasy.

PULLMAN, Wash. — Recent events on the Palouse over the last few months have understandably put the Pullman community on edge. And now there's even more concern after someone tried to force their way into a WSU student's apartment Friday night.  

"Oh my gosh that's scary because that's like right where I'm living at," WSU Sophomore Selena Salud said.

Salud lives just a few doors down from where the incident happened. She learned about the attempted abduction in a group chat.  

"That's just scary to think about because even just to walk out and go to your car or throw the trash away is scary because like now you have to look where you're going and watching who's out because it's like you can't really trust anyone now," Salud said.

The rest of the community learned about what happened after the victim posted about it online.  

According to that post, after walking home Friday night, the PhD student noticed a black car parked outside her apartment. She says it was running and the trunk was left open. She got inside the apartment, but as she went to close the door, a man grabbed the door handle and tried forcing himself inside. The post says she had to use her full body weight to close and lock the door. She reported this to police shortly after. And then, out of fear, she left Pullman as soon as she could.

We understand that there is some concern surrounding a student post regarding an incident that took place Friday...

Posted by City of Pullman Police Department on Tuesday, February 7, 2023

KREM 2 spoke with the PhD student. She says she's glad to be okay and feels very lucky.

"We need the community's help," Pullman Police Commander Aaron Breshears said.

Breshears says officers arrived on scene within minutes and made extra patrols that night. But they did not find the man or the black car.  

He says the man is described as approximately 5 foot 5, and was seen wearing a green sweatshirt. Police are also searching for a black sedan, possibly a Nissan Altima with faded black paint and no license plates.

Right now, officers are investigating all possible leads, talking to neighbors and asking the community to share any information that may help the investigation.

"And in particular, if there is a logical explanation for the circumstances, I would ask that the person responsible give us a call and explain," Breshears said. "If there is a logical explanation."

In the meantime, Selena plans to be extra cautious and keep her head on a swivel.

Just a few hours ago, Pullman police posted on Facebook it's also investigating reports of a suspicious male seen looking into homes around College Hill. They do not believe this is related to the attempted abduction on Friday. 

The Pullman Police Department is investigating a report of a suspicious male seen looking into residences around College...

Posted by City of Pullman Police Department on Wednesday, February 8, 2023

KREM 2 will continue tracking this story as it develops.

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