UCSB student strikes back after man grabs her crotch in Isla Vista

A UC Santa Barbara student walking alone in Isla Vista on Saturday night was accosted by a man who grabbed her crotch, authorities say. The woman returned the gesture, however, wheeling around and punching the suspect in the face.

Santa Barbara County sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said the incident occurred about 8:50 p.m. Saturday in the 6600 block of Del Playa Drive, west of Camino Pescadero.

She said the 22-year-old woman reported that a man had approached her from behind and “grabbed her crotch through her clothing.”

“The victim reacted by turning around and punching the suspect in the face, and he subsequently fell to the ground,” Hoover said.

The woman immediately returned to her residence and called 911.

The suspect was described as a “college-age” white man, about 6 feet tall, with black hair and wearing a dark shirt, Hoover said.

Deputies and UCSB police searched the neighborhood, but were not able to locate the suspect.

Anyone with information about the incident — considered to be sexual battery — is asked to contact the sheriff’s Isla Vista Foot Patrol at 805-681-4179, or to call 805-681-4171 to leave an anonymous tip. Click here to leave an anonymous tip on the sheriff’s website.

Officials urged UCSB students and staff to avoid walking alone at night and to use the free Community Service Officer Escort Service, which can be reached at 805-893-2000.

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