‘Aggressive’ panhandler robs Yale student of pocket money

A Yale undergraduate was the victim of an “aggressive panhandling incident” at 9:30 p.m. on the corner of Wall and Temple streets Sunday, Yale Police Department Chief Perrotti wrote Monday afternoon in a campuswide e-mail.

Although the incident was reported as a robbery, there was limited physical contact between the panhandler and the student and only a “few single dollar bills” were stolen, YPD spokesman Sgt. Steven Woznyk said. Woznyk added that the student, who was not injured during the encounter, reported the robbery shortly after it happened.

According to Perrotti’s e-mail, the panhandler was persistent in asking the student for money. When the student initially declined, he blocked the student’s path and demanded money.

The student offered the man money, which he grabbed out of the student’s hand — the only physical contact between the two individuals. The perpetrator then walked away from the area, Woznyk said.

After the incident was reported, YPD officers surveyed the area for witnesses and possible suspects, Woznyk said. The panhandler was described “as being 6’1” tall, stocky build, wearing a black overcoat and dark jeans,” Perrotti’s e-mail explains.

Yale police have neither made an arrest nor identified a suspect, but investigators have initiated a “detailed review” of the robbery in order to identify the perpetrator, Woznyk said.

On Feb. 16, an individual not affiliated with the University was robbed on the corner of Church and Wall streets. That same night, a Law School student was robbed on the corner of Edgewood Avenue and Dwight Street.

The assailants in both robberies flashed handguns, though it is unclear if the victims were held at gunpoint. Both victims escaped unharmed. The NHPD is investigating both Feb. 16 incidents.

In late January, a Calhoun student was the victim of an attempted robbery on cross campus. The student suffered a minor laceration on his arm when he resisted his assailant.


  • Joey 00

    Were all of these robberies the result of aggressive panhandling ? Change for food ?

  • An Idle Observer

    White? Asian? Hispanic? Black? Male? Female?

    Oh. I'm sorry. Such descriptions would be considered "profiling" rather than identifying features of a potential threat to life and safety at Yale.


  • heartsurgeon

    what??? which editor took it upon themselves to delete the description of the muggers skin color?? surely that is a significant detail..if skin color is not a identifying feature, then why list the sex (sexism) or the height (heightism), or ANY obvious physical feature..we don't want to be accused of "profiling". Geez, this political correctness is just silly. And for that matter, the student was ASSUALTED, NOT aggressively panhandled…the criminal definition of assault is unwanted touching…perhaps this sanitized version of the incident is an effort to reduce all the little red dots all over the Yale campus on the "crime map". HAH HAH, in an effort to make crime on campus seem less threatening, perhaps the YPD is going to "down-code" crimes from now on!! YDN, here is your next news story!!

  • Anonymous

    Don't attack the YDN for not including the race of the attacker. Blame the YPD. In the original email, the race of the attacker is not listed.

  • Anonymous

    Im so confused by the previous posts - what do u think the 'race' of the attacker would add without other useful details such as approximate weight, facial features, hair color, build (stocky and 6'1" dont go together), approximate age, etc?

    Try drawing a mental sketch of someone who is 6'1" wearing jeans and a dark overcoat, now add race (let's say 'black' for the sake of example) to that - is it useful? can u pick him out of line up or would that line up include half the black men in new haven and half of our fellow black male yalies?

    Perotti should go back to listing details if there are any, but race alone or in concert with too few other physical or situational details is USELESS and inspires bigotry and fear among the less urbane members of our community.

  • joey

    They don't want to scare off the mugger.
    A description would send the robber elsewhere. Which means the Police are trying to catch him red-handed,which means the Student Body are being used as guinea pigs

  • alum

    25000 people get an email from Perrotti after a minor incident like this, but when a student gets hit by a car on Chapel Street and sent to the hospital for an entire month, nobody on campus is aware. The YPD has its priorities all wrong.

  • Anonymous

    Dear #7,

    You have stumbled upon the difference between an accident and an intentional act. The YPD has its priorities all right.

  • JHC

    How about if i get the victim to post a description of the robber, and be SPECIFIC. This is really reeking of meddling by the Unions Attorneys.Sometimes they describe the attacker,sometimes they don't. Is there a contract for the YPD coming up ?
    Is this related to that Lawsuit about the kid on the bike ? Because they did'nt have a description of the attacker means they arrest everybody who does'nt quite look student.
    i've been seeing two Yale Law Alum fellow grads playing both sides of the fence and it's vile

  • Anonymous

    This have nothing to do with the unions and everything to do with not wanting to offend certain racial groups.

  • JHC

    Racial groups of the University i take it.
    because i really don't think the surrounding communities care if you mention skin tone or not.I ..don't believe any resident gives a flying fruit
    if you stick out one of these stick up kids


    Dear #8
    So I guess the YPD shouldn't do anything about the "accidental" as opposed to the "intentional." I'm so glad you tumbled to the distinction, why you must be doing a crackerjack in first year crim. class!
    This great idea of yours #8 will save a bunch of both NHPD and YPD budget. Why it could sweep the nation! No need to enforce speed limits in residential neighborhoods. No need for any public education about unsafe driving.
    Criminal negligence? Why let's not even talk about it.
    Would it be unreasonable for Perotti to email students, perhaps as a reminder not to jay-walk or to be careful, would it hurt anything more than your jurisprudential sensibilities. Could it alert students to investigate whether there should be measures in place to reduce traffic speeds, improve signage, improve safety. Is a little awareness provocation a bad thing for students who, as young people, may not be completely aware that the accident at issue could happen to one of them.
    When Rosie Thompson '84 died in an automobile accident his senior year, no one thought it was an "intentional" act, but the awareness that a classmate could die, particularly in such a way, was a sobering reminder brought home to Yale students -- when it became known campus-wide.

    So I ask you this #8, as our resident Mr. Jurisprudence: if the student in the accident #7 describes had died, would you still begrudge a request that Perotti notify all students, on your basis that the act was "accidental" and not, as you put it "intentional?" Well?

  • JayWalker

    Introduction to Common Sense 101- a new exciting traffic safety class offered at Yale.

  • JayCrawler

    Given what I've seen here and on campus, Introduction to Common Sense 101, should be Introduction to Common Sense 101a and b, a two semester course, with a semester on why the YPD gets it right by focusing only on the intentional and not the accidental (by the way, for those of you who haven't taken the course, or who failed it, that's what is called sarcasm.)

    P.S. People who are "Jaywalker"(s) are in particular of such a course, given that "Jaywalker"s don't, as I think we can all see, have much common sense. ;)