Metropolitan police are investigating the armed robbery of a student in residential Foggy Bottom last Tuesday.
An unidentified assailant robbed a male student at gunpoint on 25th and I streets, according to a University Police crime report. The male assailant brandished a silver pistol and demanded the student’s wallet.
As the student was reaching for his wallet, the gunman punched him in the mouth and stole his keys and wallet. After the gunman fled, the student flagged down a 4-RIDE van and reported the incident.
The D.C. Fire Department evaluated the student, who declined transportation to the emergency room. He was treated and released at the scene.
Channing Philips, spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which prosecutes suspected criminals in the District, said reports of robberies on college campuses peak during the holiday season.
“It is not just limited to D.C. Across any college campus, typically robbery rates go up because there are not as many people around the dorms – it makes for easier prey,” Philips said. “The demand for cash around the holidays is also higher.”
“Officers are giving special attention to this and are aware of the trend,” UPD Chief Dolores Stafford said. “They are looking for individuals that appear to be suspicious or are acting in a suspicious manner.”
The last reported armed robbery of a student on or near campus was in June, when two students were robbed as they were walking through the University Yard.
MPD is investigating whether last month’s robbery and the burglary of a classroom are related, Stafford said. On Nov. 17, UPD received a call from a housekeeping employee that a video projector was taken from a first-floor classroom in the Academic Center, according to a UPD crime report.
MPD officials could not be reached for comment, and Stafford said GW is trying to receive more information from MPD about the crimes.
UPD has posted crime alerts to inform the community about the person who held up the student. He is described as a black male between 18 and 30 years old and was seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. The assailant was last spotted walking east on I Street toward the Foggy Bottom Metro station.
Some students said they feel safe on campus and will continue their normal routines despite the robbery.
“Crime is just a part of being in the city, and it’s common sense not to walk anywhere alone,” freshman Parinaz Farzinfarid said.
“I walk everywhere and stay away from shady areas,” sophomore Randy Nolte said. “I never feel in danger because I see UPD everywhere.”