Police urge residents to use caution in light of recent rapes

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 11:56 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 11:56 a.m.

Area residents as they continue to investigate three reports of rapes, two near the University of Florida campus and another at an apartment complex west of Interstate 75.

Three women reported they had been sexually assaulted at their homes, two on Sunday and another Tuesday, according to Gainesville Police and the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.

Police are searching for a suspect in one case. An arrest warrant has been issued for Reginald Roy Phillips Jr., 23, of Haines City, who is accused of attacking a woman at a home where he was staying in College Park early Sunday.

Officers are investigating reports from two women that a stranger attacked them. One woman told police a man broke into her College Park home Sunday morning.

Another woman reported a man dragged her back into her apartment at the Reserve at Kanapaha, 4440 SW Archer Road, Tuesday morning and raped her.

Investigators have said there are similarities between the two cases but have not determined there is link between the reports.

With these investigations underway, UF police released a statement to students, faculty and staff, reminding them to follow standard safety precautions.

Police cautioned residents to:

Keep doors and windows at their homes secured.

Not indicate to others that they are alone or let strangers inside their homes.

Avoid isolated locations, such as parking areas, at night.

Keep a phone handy to call 911 if necessary.

The UF Police Department also offers a class called Rape Aggression Defense or RAD free of charge to women. For more information, call the UF Police Department's Community Services Division at (352)392-1409.

Due to the recent reports, Gainesville Police will be holding a residential security seminar Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the United Church of Gainesville Fellowship Hall, 1624 NW 5th Ave.

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