One student was shot in the right hand and three others were robbed at gunpoint in two separate incidents early Sunday morning, prompting Yale officials to warn students to take caution when off campus.
Theodore DeLong DRA ’07, a 27-year-old graduate student, was shot in the right hand during an attempted robbery near the intersection of Dwight and Elm streets. The New Haven Police Department responded to the shooting at 12:55 a.m., NHPD spokeswoman Bonnie Winchester said.
“The man started by asking for spare change,” Delong said. “Then he pulled a gun out of his pants and shot it very fast and took off on his bike.”
DeLong was taken to the Hospital of Saint Raphael for treatment. He said he was not seriously injured.
In the second incident, two females and a male were approached by three men on bicycles at 2:18 a.m. on Lake Place, behind Payne Whitney Gymnasium, while walking home to Ezra Stiles College, University Police Lt. Michael Patten said. One of the female students who asked not to be identified said she and her two friends were approached by the three men, who then demanded money.
“The guys were laughing, so I didn’t take them seriously at first, but then they pulled a gun out and that made me take them seriously,” she said.
Patten said no arrests have been made at the current time, but the cases are being investigated.
The female student said her male friend dropped some money before the three students ran.
In an e-mail to the University community, Perrotti informed students about the robberies and urged students to be cautious and take advantage of Yale security services, including the mini-bus and the security escort service, “2-WALK.” He said police do not know if the two incidents were related.
Although none of the students were seriously injured, Stiles Master Stuart Schwartz sent an e-mail to all members of Ezra Stiles College reminding them to be vigilant in response to the Lake Place incident. He said students need to exercise caution when walking in New Haven, especially at night, and remember not to prop entryway doors or leave college gates open.
“This is not the only time this has happened,” he said.
On campus, a number of freshman counselors spoke with freshman to update them about the incidents.
“I’ve just encouraged them to take advantage of the resources Yale has,” Davenport freshman counselor Lauren Taft-McPhee ’06 said. “They’re all smart Yale kids. I trust their judgment and they should trust their own judgment.”
Although most freshmen contacted by the News did not express strong concern, they said they were surprised by the incidents.
“It doesn’t seem like a thing that actually would happen,” Matt Brimer ’09 said. “It was really a wake-up call.”
Brimer said that despite the incident, he still felt safe enough to walk on Lake Place with a group of friends.
Patten said crimes, especially robberies, committed by people riding bicycles are a growing problem in New Haven. Over the summer months, such incidents were a cause of concern throughout the city, he said.
Although crimes of this severity are not commonplace on the Yale campus, both Yale and New Haven police have increased patrols in the areas where the attacks occurred, Perrotti said.
–Staff reporters Josh Duboff and Jessica Marsden contributed to this report