Police investigating after 3 women report assault by armed attacker near NDSU

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Police in Fargo are investigating a report of a physical and sexual attack on three women at an apartment near the North Dakota State University campus.

Police said shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday a man with a knife entered an apartment at the Bison Arms apartment complex and told the three women to take off their clothes, Forum News reports. At least one woman was sexually assaulted, reports say.

When the suspect was in the process of attempting to assault another woman "there was a brief struggle, and one of the victims was able to get out the door of the apartment, and that's when the intruder fled," police said, according to FOX 9.

At least one of the victims was a student at North Dakota Statue University, a neighbor told Forum News. The university is currently on winter break, so few people were in the apartment building Saturday night, the neighbor said.

The women were taken to the hospital. At least one of the women was assaulted and one woman was injured in the struggle, KFGO notes. They were treated and released from the hospital, FOX 9 says.

The suspect is described as a thin white man in his 20s or 30s, between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-9, The Associated Press reports. He was wearing a black coat, dark pants, blue gloves and had a black cloth over his face.

Police say there is nothing tying this assault to any other incidents in the area, but in the wake of NDSU student Thomas Bearson's death, they understand why people are alarmed, reports note.

"What brings those two [incidents] together is the location [near campus], and the victims were students," Fargo police spokesperson Joel Vettel told FOX 9. "But the cases are extremely unrelated – the details aren't similar."

Bearson went missing in September and was found dead a few days later miles from campus. No one has been arrested in connection with his death.

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