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By Michael E. Xie, Crimson Staff Writer

A Harvard graduate student was assaulted a few blocks from Mather House Tuesday evening, according to Harvard University Police Department spokesperson Steven G. Catalano.

In a citywide alert sent to Harvard affiliates Wednesday around 7:45 p.m., the Cambridge Police Department wrote that the victim was walking down Putnam Ave. from Mt. Auburn St. when she was grabbed around the waist and shoulders. She had turned around after sensing that she was being followed and was able to free herself from the attacker’s grip unharmed, according to Jeremy Warnick, spokesperson for CPD.

The victim, a 22-year-old woman, reported the incident first to the Harvard University Police Department, Warnick said. She described the assailant as a clean-shaven, 18-to-25-year-old man wearing a beanie cap.

CPD is currently investigating the incident and is still seeking suspects. The attacker was not known to the victim, and CPD deputy superintendent Leonard DiPietro noted in the alert that the attack did not follow any recent trends.

“While we are actively investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident and are putting extra attention on this area, we have not seen any recent incidents similar in nature to this event,” DiPietro said.

CPD advised women to walk at a steady pace with confidence and stay aware of surroundings to avoid similar incidents.

Last month, a College student was grabbed from behind while running along the Charles River. She was able to free herself after spraying the attacker with pepper spray.

—Staff writer Michael E. Xie can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MichaelEXie1.

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