SOM student evades gunpoint robbery



A School of Management student was the victim of an attempted armed robbery Thursday evening, the student said.

The student said he was approached by a masked man with a gun as he walked near Science Hill at 10:30 p.m. Thursday. The attempted robbery is the latest in a string of armed robberies on campus this year, heightening police concern about crime against Yale students.

The student, who requested that his name not be used, said he was walking near the intersection of Hillhouse Avenue and Sachem Street while talking on his cell phone. A car passed the student slowly and then parked in front of him, he said.

The student said he walked by the car and noticed three people sitting inside. He heard a man’s voice as he continued down the street.

“I heard a voice behind me say, ‘Give me your cell phone,'” the student said.

He said he turned and saw a masked man on the street behind him holding a gun.

“I screamed in my cell phone, ‘Call 911,'” the student said. “Then I ran up Science Hill.”

The student said he turned at the top of Science Hill and the car was gone. He then ran to the School of Management, where a security guard called University police. When police arrived, the student said he walked them through the encounter and they drove him home.

University officials were unavailable for comment Sunday.

Because of the mask, the student said he was able to give very little information about the attempted robber to police. He described the man as about six feet tall. He could not be positive the man came from the car, but thought it was likely given the circumstances of the crime, he said.

The student described the car to police as a light-colored older American sedan, though he said he could not be certain since he only saw the vehicle for a few seconds.

The student said he felt extremely lucky he was not hurt in the incident.

“I feel it’s just — part of New Haven,” he said. “I think probably me being on a cell phone led to me being a target.”

The attempted robbery comes amid rising alarm from police and University officials about crime against Yale students. Yale Police Chief James Perrotti and University Deputy Secretary Martha Highsmith made the decision in December to revive the police’s long-deactivated undercover street crime unit — putting two plainclothes officers in an unmarked car in problem areas around campus.

The headquarters for University police are located near Ingalls Rink on Sachem Street, three blocks from the scene of the crime.

A number of armed robberies have been reported to police this year. Two students were robbed by a man with a gun on Old Campus Dec. 18. Another student was robbed and sexually assaulted at gunpoint Dec. 14 by a masked man inside her off-campus apartment.

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