Man Follows Drexel Student and Rapes Her Inside Off-Campus Home, Police Say

Students told NBC10 they received an alert about the incident early Wednesday afternoon

Drexel University students are on high alert after a man walked into a woman's off-campus apartment, forced her upstairs and then raped her, police said.

The ordeal began Wednesday when an unidentified man followed a 22-year-old Drexel student inside as she went into her home on the 3200 block of Winter Street. When the woman asked him what he wanted, the man told her he was there to meet with "John," which happens to be the name of one of her roommates, police said. The woman then texted her roommate who told her he wasn't expecting anyone that day.

Police said the man then put the woman into a headlock and forced her upstairs where he raped her before fleeing the scene. The woman then went to a different location and notified her roommates who called Drexel University Police around 1 p.m. 

The suspect, who police said identified himself as "Tom" or "Thomas," is described as a thin black male between the ages of 18 and 23 standing 5-foot-5 with a soft voice, round face and no facial hair.

He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black pants and black sneakers. He also had a rag or some sort of t-shirt on top of his head and was also carrying a smartphone with a red case, police said.

Investigators are unsure if the suspect fled on foot or got away in a car. They are currently reviewing surveillance video.

Students told NBC10 they received an alert about the incident early Wednesday afternoon.

"It made me extremely nervous because I live in this building," Kat Bottger said. "And being two blocks away from a crime like that is terrifying, especially for me being a woman and a student at this university."

The school’s Department of Public Safety is urging students to be on heightened awareness of their surroundings, walk in groups and in well-lit public areas, and to make sure their vehicles and residences are locked and secured.

"We triple lock our doors," Mari Gardner, a Drexel student, told NBC10. "Travel in packs. Other than that, high alert all the time."

If you have any information, please call the Philadelphia Police Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3251 or Drexel University Police at 215-895-2222.

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