In the early morning of the last day of class before spring break, a GW student was hospitalized because he was allegedly beaten by a group of men in an alley by the State Plaza Hotel.
Following this incident on March 9, University Police Chief Dolores Stafford said students and staff need to be aware that they live and work in an urban environment.
“Random acts of violence can occur anywhere,” she said. “Members of the GW community should be cautious about walking around campus alone late at night.”
Stafford added that although UPD is adding patrols and the Metropolitan Police Department has also committed to patrolling more, the two forces cannot prevent criminals who are looking for an easy target in a dark alley. “We need people to make good decisions, to take safety precautions and to report suspicious people and activity immediately to UPD,” she said.
This assault followed a March 5 incident where three men were arrested for randomly assaulting several GW freshmen between about 10 and 11 p.m. The suspects in the earlier incident were caught, Stafford said, because the incidents were reported quickly. The police reports stated that the three men were living in a Howard University freshman residence hall. Officials from Howard University have not returned several phone calls and e-mails from The Hatchet about the men’s affiliation with the school.
The victim from March 9 said he was intoxicated when the reported assault occurred and didn’t remember much of what happened. Stafford said UPD used video footage and the young man’s account to determine what occurred because some of the student’s original testimony conflicted with the video recordings.
A police report gave the following account: UPD was notified at almost 3 a.m. about the student’s reported assault at 2 a.m. The student was punched by one of the three suspects and then knocked to the ground and kicked. He also said he was hit with an object.
Stafford said the incident was reported as an assault with a deadly weapon because “according to D.C. Code – if someone is kicked it gets classified as an assault with (a) deadly weapon.”
The student was sent to GW Hospital for treatment, and UPD immediately canvassed the area for the suspects. The three suspects are described as wearing dark clothing with one wearing a gray, hooded sweatshirt.
Stafford said Friday that the student asked both UPD and MPD to stop further investigation into his attack.
This article appeared in the March 26, 2007 issue of the Hatchet.