Wisconsin’s state capital and a Big Ten football staple is upping police patrols after a female student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison was targeted in a “violent and severe” attack early Sunday morning, according to city leaders.
“#Madison, WI and UW police are increasing patrols & the campus community is urged to be vigilant following a violent early morning attack in the area of W. Wilson & Bedford,” the city announced Tuesday morning on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter.
Police responded to the intersection of South Bedford and West Wilson streets, a block from Lake Monona, around 3:20 a.m. Sunday and rushed the victim to the hospital with what they called life-threatening injuries.
Authorities believe it was a “stranger assault” – taking place in the early morning hours after the Badgers football team won their home opener, 38-17.
A friend of the victim told Milwaukee’s WISN-TV that she was found with a broken jaw and had been strangled, beaten and sexually assaulted. An unnamed neighbor said the victim had been abducted off the sidewalk and dragged between two houses.
Police were looking for one or more unidentified suspects but have not yet released a description.
Neither campus nor city police have responded to inquiries from Fox News Digital.
Anyone with information on the attack is asked to call Madison police at 608-255-2345. Investigators are also asking for anyone with security cameras near the intersection of West Wilson and South Bedford streets to share their footage from between 2 and 4 a.m. Sunday.
Madison, the heavily progressive capital of Wisconsin, slashed $2 million in police funds in 2020 in response to protests against police brutality, the Capital Times, a weekly city newspaper, reported – prompting police leaders to seek outside funding through federal grants and other programs.
“This investigation is in its preliminary stages right now,” the city’s assistant chief of police, Paige Valenta, said in a statement Sunday. “We have called in numerous Madison Police personnel on this holiday weekend to conduct a thorough and complete investigation.”
In an eerily prescient Reddit post from the start of last year’s fall semester, a young woman asked if it was safe to walk in the city late at night.
“Would you feel safe walking home alone this far around 3:00AM?” she wrote. “I don’t know if I’m overthinking it or if I should just take an Uber.”
“Would I recommend it?” reads the top reply. “No.”
Now, police are asking residents to avoid walking alone in the area – especially at night – and to keep an eye out for their surroundings.
Anyone who must venture out alone after dark is advised to notify friends or family of their “departures and arrivals.”