St. Joseph's University Student Calls Friend as Masked Men Try to Abduct Her

A Philadelphia college student left a voice message for her friend as masked men tried to abduct her at the edge of St. Joseph’s University Tuesday.

The woman had just gotten off a SEPTA train and was walking along Overbrook Avenue near N 58th Street in Overbrook shortly before 9 p.m. when two men – one armed – in ski masks approached her, the victim told Philadelphia Police. The men pushed her behind a nearby church.

The student, who wished not to be identified, told NBC10 that she was too upset to talk about the incident on camera but she did talk to Philadelphia Police Special Victims Unit investigators overnight.

Her friend, Sharif Sawyer, said he heard part of the struggle over his voicemail -- he said he was trying to get a hold of her at the time. He could hear her pleading with someone not to do this.

"She started to fight and scream," said Sawyer. "She tried to get away from one guy, the other guy grabbed her, pulled a gun on her, put it to her head and told her that if she didn’t shut up he was going to shoot her. He loaded the weapon."

Something – possibly people coming up the street – spooked off the attackers, said police. They made off with nothing, said the university. The woman didn't appear to hurt.

The incident played out on the edge of St. Joe’s campus – not far from a public safety emergency call box.

In a public safety advisory sent out to students and posted on the university's internal portal, St. Joe's described the attackers -- one standing around 6-foot, 3-inches tall in dark clothing and the other wearing bright red sneakers.

"As always, the University’s top priority is the safety of all students, faculty, staff and visitors," said the public safety advisory. "All are advised to be aware of their surroundings, on-campus or off, walk in groups and park in well-lit areas.

"To report crimes in progress or other emergencies, contact police fist by dialing 9-1-1. Then notify SJU Public Safety via an Emergency Blue Light Phone or by dialing 610-660-1111."

Crime is rare on St. Joe's campus with only one aggravated assault reported in each 2014 and 2015 and only three robberies over that time, according to campus crime stats.

The university’s Public Safety office offers escorts, says the website.[[238427591, C]]

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