The Madison Police Department released a sketch of the suspect who attacked a female as she was walking home last Saturday in the early morning.
The 21-year-old victim was walking from the State Street area to her house when she was attacked on the 100 block of East Johnson Street, according to MPD spokesperson Joel DeSpain.
DeSpain confirmed the victim is a University of Wisconsin student.
“She was suddenly tackled by a stranger, who then punched her in the face,” he said.
The victim was able to kick the suspect and scream; an off-duty firefighter heard the screams and came to rescue her, he said.
DeSpain said when the firefighter arrived, the suspect was on top of the victim and the firefighter was able to hit the suspect before he escaped.
The firefighter rendered aid to the victim, who sustained head cuts as a result of the battery.
DeSpain said detectives believe sexual assault was the motive. DeSpain and MPD thanked the firefighter for stepping in because they believe if he hadn’t, the victim would have been sexually assaulted.
Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, said the firefighter’s action shows the heroics of Madison city employees. Many citizens could have walked in the other direction, but the firefighter stepped in despite the serious nature of what was occurring, he said.
“I would like to offer my personal thanks [to the firefighter],” Resnick said.
MPD’s sketches are spread far and wide throughout the city of Madison and the surrounding regions, DeSpain said. He believes if the suspect is currently in Madison or any of its neighboring cities, he will be caught.
“We [MPD] are asking anyone who may be able to put a name with the sketch to call crime stoppers,” DeSpain said.
Anyone with information can call the Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.
According to the MPD statement, there is an award up to $1,000 and callers may remain anonymous.