Sep 212005
 
Authors: James Baetke, Brandon Lowrey

When sophomore Erin Sobon stepped outside her garden-level apartment to investigate a tapping noise, she caught a glimpse of a man running away. She didn't know a second masked, knife-wielding man was crouched by her door. (CQ)cm

The sophomore social work major managed to dash back into her Ram's Pointe apartment and bolt the doors.

Sobon considered this a close call – she believes the two men were working together in an attempt to sexually assault her and two of her roommates.

Police consider it a possible prank.

"It could have been a joke," Sobon said. "But who really jokes with a 6-inch knife?"

The odd events began about 11 p.m. Sunday, while Sobon and two of her roommates were chatting in their living room. They heard a tapping sound that wouldn't quit.

Sobon eventually went outside to see what was causing the noise.

"I peek out the sliding glass door when she's doing this and I hear, like, a hissing sound, like a really loud sigh," said Sobon's roommate Michelle Stumf, a junior art education major. "And I look over to the left and there is this guy crouching or sitting. He's wearing black and he has a weird mask on and he's got a knife."

Sobon didn't notice the could-be attacker until she turned to go back through her door.

"It took me a while to realize what was going on. I thought it was a joke or something," said Sobon, who was barefoot and wearing pajamas. "My roommates froze, but on the other hand I remained calm and evaluated my options. … My first instinct was to pick up a rock to throw at him."

He crawled toward her, and Sobon dashed past him through the apartment doorway. After she slid the door closed, the man stood up and ran away.

Moments later, the front door shuddered and the handle jiggled as if someone was trying to get in. It was locked.

Rita Davis, spokesperson for Fort Collins Police Services, said it is likely the incident was some sort of prank, but police cannot be sure.

"Police were called and police searched the area and found no suspicious activity," Davis said.

Sobon and her roommates refuse to believe what happened was a joke. Next week all four roommates, including one who was not home at the time of the incident, are set to move to a higher-level apartment, making it more difficult for someone to ambush them outside.

"If it was a prank he wouldn't have approached me," Sobon said. "It's pretty ridiculous the police aren't doing anything else."

Ram's Pointe, 2250 W. Elizabeth St., is a popular apartment dwelling for CSU students.

Mike Holt, market director for the complex's parent company, University Partners, said the property management team is not taking this situation lightly and are in the process of creating an education campaign to keep its residents safe.

"This isn't a dead and bury situation," Holt said.

Ram's Pointe is working with police, CSU officials and the community to take a positive spin from what happened to Sobon and her roommates by completing all encompassing security checks on the premises, asking CSUPD and other security services to drive through the area more often and send memos to all residents, educating them on how to remain safe.

"The security for the complex is very important," Holt said.

Holt was unable to obtain the police report, nor was the Collegian, to verify facts and personal accounts of the incident, so Rams Pointe had a formal interview with the tenants on Tuesday.

"The police haven't been helpful as of yet," Holt said. "We're not taking this as a laughing matter."

However, the descriptions of the men were sketchy at best – they were tall, had dark hair and were college-aged.

No matter the circumstances, anyone who feels uncomfortable in any type of situation should call police, Davis said.

"If a person ever feels they are in jeopardy they should always call us, whether or not it's a prank," Davis said.

For emergencies, dial 911. Fort Collins Police Service's non-emergency phone number is 221-6540.

Kathryn Dailey contributed to this story.

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