The Collegian
Saturday, June 25, 2022

Eight students assaulted in two weeks

Eight cases of simple and aggravated assault were reported to the University of Richmond police between Sept. 3 and Sept. 19.

"I think our [assault] numbers are up this year," URPD Capt. Beth Simonds said. "There have been more [assaults reported] this year than last year at this time."

University police have received many tips regarding the incidents, but no arrests have been made at this time.

The timeline of the assaults is as follows: One took place on Friday, Sept. 3; three took place on Saturday, Sept. 4; two took place on Sunday, Sept. 5; one took place on Saturday, Sept. 11; and one took place on Sunday, Sept. 19.

While the three assaults that occurred during the early morning hours of Sept. 4 appear to be related, University police believe that the other five assaults were isolated, unrelated incidents, Simonds said.

The most recent assault took place on Saturday, Sept. 19, when a female was assaulted by one of five black males.

The victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, was sitting in the backseat of a car full of students who were returning to campus around 1:30 a.m.

Five unidentified black males stopped the students' car at the first speed bump on the road beside the Robins School of Business construction site.

Senior R. David McIntyre, who was sitting beside the victim in the backseat, said the black males were asking for directions to a place on campus he had never heard of before.

"I'm a senior, and I had no idea what they were talking about," McIntyre said. "I honestly think they just wanted us to stop the car."

The passenger in the front seat, sensing something was wrong, told the driver to start driving away from the men, McIntyre said.

"He grabbed the girl [sitting in the backseat] by the face and said 'I'll f---king kidnap you,'" McIntyre said.

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But, the car was already moving, and the assailant did not have the victim in his grasp for very long. After the incident, the students in the vehicle reported the assault to University police.

University police have no reason to believe that the Sept. 19 assailants are the same black males who attacked three Richmond students at different times and locations on Sept. 4.

On Sept. 4, three Richmond College males were attacked without provocation. They describe the assailants as black males wearing dark, baggy clothing.

After walking friends back to their dormitory, one of the three Sept. 4 victims - who wishes to remain anonymous - was struck on the side of the head by an unknown black male at 2:30 a.m.

"I went down the stairs toward the bridge ... and saw a group of black guys near the bridge," the victim said. "I didn't really think twice about passing them, as I assumed it was just a group of [Richmond] guys hanging out and deciding where to go."

As soon as the victim stepped on the bridge near the gazebo, he was struck on his head without provocation. The victim continued to walk to his dorm, where an on-duty medical student examined his head and face.

"Luckily, he was too drunk to care to steal anything from me," the victim said. "One and done shot."

Later, a Resident Assistant and a University officer arrived at the dormitory to document the assault.

"It could have easily been a bigger deal if I had turned my head, [or] if they had wanted my stuff," the victim said.

The victim could not provide more than a description of the assailant's skin color.

In response to a string of recent crimes reported on campus — breaking-and-entering, assaults and sexual assault — University police have heightened security and increased patrols on campus.

Contact staff writer Fred Shaia at fred.shaia@richmond.edu

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