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BU police investigating sexual assault; suspect at large

Boston University police released a surveillance picture of the suspect vehicle linked to three Boston University students harassed Friday night.BUPD

Boston University police are investigating a sexual assault on campus that occurred Friday night, as well as a second, possibly related incident in which a man harassed three students from behind the wheel of a pickup truck, authorities said.

The BU Police Department said in a statement the incident was reported at 11:45 p.m. Friday, when a student told police an assailant forced his way into their apartment and assaulted them.

“This person was unknown to the student,” the statement said. “Student was able to fight this person off and call police. Police have not located the suspect.”

Police said the assailant was described as a man in his late 20s or early 30s with a thin build and dark complexion who was carrying a black backpack at the time of the assault.

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Nine minutes after that attack was reported, police said, three other students reported another unsettling encounter with a man who was driving a truck on Granby Street.

Police said the three students indicated they were “aggressively followed and offered a ride by an unknown person. The suspect followed them from Granby St. over to South Campus where they were able to use an emergency call box to notify police. Police have not located the suspect.”

The suspect in that incident was described as a man with a dark complexion who was driving a newer model silver- or gray-colored Ford pickup truck, according to the statement. Police also released a surveillance image of the truck.

Police are investigating whether the incidents are related, and asked anyone with information to call the department at 617-353-2121. Tipsters can also provide information anonymously by texting the word ‘BU’ to TIP411 (847911), the statement said.

“The BUPD will protect the identities of all those who wish to assist this investigation in an anonymous manner,” the statement said.

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Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.