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Originally published January 15, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified January 15, 2008 at 3:01 PM

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Reward offered for info in attack with hammer on UW student

CrimeStoppers of Puget Sound is offering a reward up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in the attack on a 22-year-old University of Washington student last week.

Seattle Times staff reporter

CrimeStoppers of Puget Sound is offering a reward up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the man being sought in the attack with a hammer of a 22-year-old University of Washington student last week.

No one has been arrested.

Seattle police have released a description of the man:

They say he is a white male, 20 to 30 years in age, with short, possibly brown, hair. The clean-shaven man is believed to be between 5-foot-8 and 6 feet in height, with an average build. He may have been wearing a dark baggy jacket, dark baggy jeans and a light-colored hat or head cover.

The victim said she screamed for help several times during the attack last Tuesday near Northeast 47th Street and 18th Avenue Northeast, but no one stopped, according to an account of the attack the victim gave to Mary Erickson.

"She screamed for help. She saw all types of cars passing by," Erickson said. "She's very fearful. She's traumatized."

She even pounded on the door of a nearby rooming house immediately after the attack, but nobody answered, said Erickson, who has been sponsoring the woman since she moved to Seattle four years ago from war-torn Rwanda, where her entire family was slain.

The injured woman was expected to have plastic surgery at Harborview Medical Center today to repair her shattered cheekbone; she already has had surgery on her fractured skull, Erickson said. Her injuries will keep her from returning this quarter to the University of Washington.

Erickson said the woman told her she didn't know the man who attacked her in a neighborhood where about 6,000 students live north of the UW. Erickson asked that the woman's name not be published because her attacker hasn't been arrested.

"I think it will take awhile for her to build that trust and be out on her own," Erickson said.

The woman, a graduate of Garfield High School, is in her first year at the UW. She is majoring in engineering, Erickson said.

According to Seattle police, the woman left her dorm room around 7 a.m. to move her car. After the attack, the woman pulled herself up from the ground, went to a nearby building and pounded on the door, Erickson said. When nobody answered, the woman got into her car and drove to the north campus entrance at 17th Avenue Northeast and asked a parking attendant for help.

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"She realized she had been hurt badly and that she needed help right away," Erickson said.

The woman has made vast improvements since being hospitalized in critical condition with head injuries and a broken tailbone, Erickson said. She is walking around and has briefly talked with police, Erickson said.

Seattle police are asking anyone with information on the attack to call detectives at 206-684-5550.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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