AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – An east Alabama man has been arrested and charged with Robbery Third degree after police say a woman was allegedly attacked Sunday morning near the campus of Auburn University.

We expect Auburn Police will release additional information later on Monday. Here’s what we know so far:  

27-year-old Ishmel Echols was arrested Sunday by Auburn police and charged with Burglary Third. He remains at the Lee County Detention Facility. 

According to the survivor’s account, she was walking towards the campus from Gay Street around 8:00 AM when an unidentified male assailant pushed her to the ground, proceeded to climb on top of her, and forcibly touched her buttocks. Thankfully, a passerby intervened, disrupting the alleged assault, and the man reportedly ran in the direction of Miller Avenue.

WRBL is checking with Auburn Police to see if this incident is related to two separate attacks on women along Samford Avenue back on Wednesday, August 23, 2023, where the assailant was hiding in a bush and jumping out to attack the women.

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This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of safety awareness and vigilance, particularly in campus environments. All members of the community must stay informed and take precautions to protect themselves. Sexual assault is a serious crime, and it can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background.

Statistics from reveal more than 50% of college sexual assaults occur between August and November, underscoring the need for heightened awareness during this period.

While it is never the responsibility of a victim or survivor to prevent an assault, there are steps that individuals can take to enhance their safety:

  • Stay alert to your surroundings and walk with friends when possible.
  • Utilize available safety services, such as the Security Shuttle for door-to-door transportation on campus from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. or the Lyft Late Night Smart Ride Program.
  • If you witness suspicious activity or a person behaving suspiciously, notify the police at 911 (for emergencies or crimes in progress), 334-501-3100 (for non-emergencies), or 334-246-1391 (tip line for calls or texts).

For those who have experienced sexual assault, there are important steps to consider:

  • Preserve evidence by refraining from showering or changing clothing.
  • Dial 911 for emergency assistance or seek immediate medical care at the nearest hospital to request a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam, commonly referred to as a “rape kit.”
  • Rape kits can be collected at designated locations in Auburn, including East Alabama Medical Center Freestanding Emergency Department and the AU Medical Clinic.
  • Reporting the incident is a personal choice, and survivors can choose to do so by contacting the Auburn Police Department or the Auburn University Title IX Coordinator.