UPDATE: University Police searching for suspects after students assaulted on Sunday

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Police are continuing to investigate an early Sunday, Sept. 19, assault on campus that left two female SVSU students hospitalized.

The incident occurred about 4:11 a.m. near the Art Studio building as four students were walking back to their on-campus apartments, police have said.

SVSU Police Chief Leo Mioduszewski said three female students and a male student were walking from Campus Village to their dorms when a white Saturn Vue approached them. A passenger in the vehicle asked the group if they knew someone named Sierra, and the students said no, the chief said.

The Vue left but soon drove back to the students and again asked if they knew Sierra, Mioduszewski said. When the students again said no, the male passengers left the vehicle and attacked the group, he said. Mioduszewski said the male pedestrian and one of the female pedestrians were able to escape and call 911.

J.J. Boehm, the director of media and community relations, has said the students were hospitalized as a result of their injuries. Mioduszewski said both of the victims were punched, and one of them was kicked in the ribs. The students were released from the hospital about noon Sunday, Boehm has said.

According to Mioduszewski, the suspects include one black female driver and two or three black males. University Police is continuing to try to identify the suspects, the chief said. On Thursday, Sept. 20, University Police released a sketch of one of the suspects.

“We’ve been watching video from the area, trying to locate that vehicle and get a license plate,” Mioduszewski said. “Obviously, then, that would enhance the investigation immensely. We’re still interviewing witnesses in Campus Village. … We have a couple possible vehicles that somewhat match the description, but trying to determine who owns them is difficult.”

The chief said he personally spent over 6 hours watching surveillance video the day after the assault, and University Police will continue watching video in hopes of finding a license plate. Nearby law enforcement agencies have been notified and given the vehicle and suspect descriptions, he said.

So far, there is no clear motivation for the assault, Mioduszewski said.

“We don’t know at this point if there is even a connection between the victims and the suspects,” Mioduszewski said. “The victims said they didn’t know or recognize the suspects. So whether it was a random act is unclear.”

The chief said he and other officers are aware of a national social media trend of people hitting and kicking strangers and then posting the video online. To his knowledge, though, no such cases have been reported in Saginaw County.

Mioduszewski said eyewitnesses of the incident, anyone who has information about the incident or the suspects, or anyone who sees the suspect vehicle should call University Police at (989) 964-4141 and press “1” when prompted.

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