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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Two students assaulted in separate South St incidents

October victim never reported attack to police

Published: November 12, 2010
Section: Front Page

Heading SOuth: A female student walking alone on South Street at 10:30 p.m. was assaulted and robbed on Tuesday in front of the Stanley Elementary School.
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

A female Brandeis student suffered head and facial injuries during an assault and unarmed robbery on South Street Tuesday evening, Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan said. But a male Brandeis student told The Hoot he was also assaulted in a separate incident on Oct. 30 on Bedford Street and did not notify police.

Callahan said that a secondary source told him about an assault near South Street over Halloween weekend although he was unable to confirm the incident.

In the Oct. 30 attack, around 12 a.m., the victim told The Hoot, he thought it was not worth it to call the police. During the second assault, on Tuesday evening, the victim notified the Waltham Police but the suspects fled the scene after the attack, Callahan said.

A male Brandeis student walking on Bedford St. early on Oct. 30 said three men followed him, began fighting and then jumped him, hitting him to the ground. None of his possessions were stolen because they were inside his car, he said. He described the three suspects as two black males and one white male who “looked like townies.”

“This is where we live for the majority of the year, we shouldn’t feel worried walking these streets where we spend so much time. [It] shows that no one can walk alone,” the victim of the Oct. 30 attack said.

Two weeks later, a female Brandeis student jogging on the sidewalk near the Stanley Elementary School on South Street suffered head and facial injuries during an un-armed robbery at about 10:35 p.m. on Tuesday night. Three men approached her and one “struck her hard in the face with an elbow” while another stole her iPod, Callahan said. Callahan added that the female victim was unsure of whether she would be able to identify her attackers, but that the student identified the three men as about 20 years old and said one of them was wearing a grey sweatshirt with the hood up, Callahan said.

Waltham Police notified Public Safety of the incident at about 2 p.m. on Wednesday Callahan said. Public Safety has been in contact with the female student assaulted.

The suspects “fled in an unknown direction” and the victim went to a friend’s home on Dartmouth Street and then called Waltham Police. After arriving at the scene, police did not find the three men.

The university e-mailed a public safety advisory to the Brandeis Community via e-maillater Wednesday afternoon.

“While we hope this was an isolated incident, we remind members of the Brandeis community to be aware of their surroundings at all times—on and off campus,” Callahan wrote.

“Numbers [multiple assaults] are a concern, but number one is a concern to me,” Callahan said. “This is not a common occurrence.”

Callahan, who has worked at Public Safety for more than 30 years, said he could not recall a similar incident in recent years.

“There’s nothing obvious that indicates it’s a student [attacker] or a Waltham [resident],” Callahan said.

The Hoot’s attempts to obtain a copy of the police report from the Waltham Police Department were unsuccessful yesterday. Community Services, the department that releases reports, was closed Thursday for Veteran’s Day, one of the operations officers said.

Police Chief Thomas M. LaCroix did not respond to a phone message left Thursday morning.

As a result of the incident, Public Safety planned to add a second van to make nightly runs from campus into the rest of Waltham. Callahan said the second van for the 7:15 to 11:15 p.m. shift would be added by Friday evening at the latest.

“Due to this unfortunate incident, there will be a dramatic request for more service,” he said.