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Cal Poly students react to attack at apartment near campus
A 20-year-old woman is recovering after being attacked by a man just outside her apartment near Cal Poly, Friday morning.
According to San Luis Obispo Police, 25-year-old Derrick Moore used a stun-gun on the woman and forced her to the ground. However, she was able to fight back by stabbing Moore repeatedly with a small knife on her key chain.
Moore then ran away and police say they found him in a creek behind Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center. Police arrested him for attempted murder.
Residents of the Stan Mark Apartments, where the attack happened, are almost all Cal Poly students. Some residents told KSBY it was a shock and something they never expected to happen there.
Cal Poly is about a 10 minute walk from the apartment complex.
This weekend, as nearly 5,000 freshmen students are moving into the dorms and many returning students are coming back to town, the attack is serving as a reminder about safety and self defense.
Cal Poly senior Cat Smith and her roommates are trying to get settled into their new home at the Stan Mark Apartments. Smith was getting ready for work Friday morning when she heard what sounded like crying.
"I heard a woman crying but I didn't know what for," Smith told KSBY. "I didn't understand was going on."
Neighbors called police. When officers arrived, they say they found the woman covered in blood.
"It's crazy to think about because you never think stuff like this happens in SLO," Smith said.
San Luis Obispo Police say attacks like this are not common in this area but it is a reminder about safety.
"Being aware of your surroundings is important," Sgt. Jeff Booth told KSBY. "If somebody is following you or something looks suspicious, be aware of that."
According to police, the victim did not know Moore, but she remembers seeing him in the apartment complex twice before. One of those times, she called police but Moore was gone by the time officers arrived.
This time, police say quick thinking and self defense may have saved her life.
"She fought back and that's what stopped the attack so that's great for her to be prepared and to be able to defend herself," Sgt. Booth said.
The disturbing attack comes just before move-in weekend at Cal Poly. Vice President of Student Affairs Keith Humphrey told KSBY he wants students to be prepared for incidents like this one.
"This individual practiced some good street smarts, she did all the things we teach our students about being aware of their surroundings, paying attention to what's going on around them so that they can protect themselves," Humphrey said.
For Smith, she said the attack is a wake up call.
"I have pepper spray. I wouldn't say I'm the best about always carrying it but after hearing this, yes of course," Smith said, resolving to take some form of self defense with her from now on.
San Luis Obispo Police also recommend carrying pepper spray or mace.
Cal Poly officials will stay in touch with the residents of the Stan Mark Apartments to make sure they feel safe going into the school year.
Bail for the accused attacker, Derrick Moore, is set at $500,000 dollars.