“As I know it, at 10:40, approximately, there was an attempted robbery at a local store somewhere on 30th Street, I believe,” said David Burnip, director of campus safety.
According to reports, the robbery was unsuccessful.
“They’re calling it a botched robbery,” Burnip said. “I don’t know what happened to botch it, but the person took off running and was chased by several officers, including a canine officer. He was seen coming across the Jewish Center property from Harvard Avenue.
“The cruisers came onto campus and they literally tackled the guy right outside the doors of Mitchel Hall that are facing the library.”
Melissa Riskin, a freshman undecided major, witnessed the police chase.
“You know the whole Humans vs. Zombies thing?” Riskin said. “I saw a guy sprinting past my window. It caught my eye, so I looked, and it was a cop. There was a guy and a cop running after another guy.”
According to Lauren Bissetta, a junior organizational management major and a witness to the events, the suspect was able to get into Blossom Hall.
“He runs through Blossom, out through Blossom, and runs past our windows, and right in front of Regula this all happens,” Bissetta said.
Burnip did confirm that a female student did let the suspect in when he came up to the door. He also warned of the dangers of opening dorm doors for others.
“All of the technology we put in place is only good if the people that live there take advantage of it,” Burnip said. “If they try to bypass the alarms, or prop the doors or just walk up and open doors for people—which I know there’s a lot of times we’re trying to be nice to people, and I see it on camera all the time.
“Somebody knocks on the door; we just go over and open the door for them. I know where it comes from, but unfortunately it creates a situation where somebody like that, if they were to knock on the door and somebody was there, they very well could have opened the door. It’s part of the nature of most of the students here, I believe.”
After the arrest, the man who called the police and pursued the suspect spoke to students at the scene.
“I talked to the guy who actually called him in—who was running after him,” Bissetta said. “He told me the whole story, what happened. Immediately when he saw [the robbery], he called the cops and started chasing after him and then he came up through Malone’s campus towards Blossom, and that’s when the police finally showed up.”
Burnip said there was nothing campus safety could have done. [pullquote]“Not one student called, and they probably saw it before we did,” Burnip said.[/pullquote]
“We weren’t notified until after it happened, but I get that. If they’re just chasing him from 30th Street to here, it’s not like they have time to go ‘Well, he’s headed that way. Maybe he’s going to Malone. You better call them.’”
“I know people have said ‘It was two hours after the fact,’” Burnip said. “I knew the situation was taken care of. By the time I found out about it, it had already been taken care of. I didn’t want to send out something if I didn’t have all the facts.”
If there is ever any emergency on campus, students are advised to call campus safety.
“Not one student called, and they probably saw it before we did. Even though the cops were involved, this is our community and we need to take advantage of that. If [students] saw something going on like this, they need to be calling and letting us know.”
Update: We now have video of several witnesses describing the events, as well as additional photos of the arrest. Photos are courtesy of Scott Mateer.