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Indianapolis teen fights off attacker while walking on Butler campus trail

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 19, 2015)— Butler University officials sent a safety alert to students and staff after a physical assault was reported near campus Thursday. The victim, an 18-year-old man, spoke to FOX59 about the incident in hopes he can stop it from happening again.

Emerson Davis said he walks the Holcomb Gardens, a walking trail on Butler’s campus, most mornings. He said it was around 5 a.m., when a man tried to attack him on the canal towpath.

“Everything is fine everything quiet, there’s not even birds chirping at that time of the morning and then all of the sudden there is somebody there trying to hurt me,” said Davis.

Butler University Police said the alleged attacker approach Davis by crossing over the canal bridge.

“The only thing he said to me was to get on the ground. He physically tried getting me to go to the ground, but I stood my ground and didn’t let him push me to the floor,” said Davis.

Davis told police the suspect demanded him to get on the ground. When he refused, the suspect attempted to kick his legs out from underneath him.

“Don’t fall victim to a false sense security. Even the most beautiful and most serene areas of town can have the worst dangers hidden,” said Davis.

The suspect then fled the area, heading westbound to the intramural fields towards Rocky Ripple. Police searched the area, but they could not find the suspect.
The man was described to be wearing a black hoodie, between the ages of 20-25 and had a raspy voice.

Police said a robbery did not occur and there was no weapon involved in the incident. The case is being investigated as assault.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact Detective Bruce Allee at 317-940-8856 or via email at

University officials urge students to alert campus police if they come across anything suspicious.

  • 317-940-9999 emergency
  • 317-940-BUPD (2873) non-emergency