New Haven police on Monday charged two New Haven residents with the robberies of several Yale students in the East Rock area, bringing a sense of closure to a crime spree in the neighborhood that has been a source of much discontent for graduate students there.
The primary arrested party arrested yesterday had been charged with multiple counts of robbery in the first degree, larceny in the second degree and other lesser charges for multiple robberies at the end of September. Though residents expressed relief over the arrests, they said they plan to continue their efforts to deter crime in the area.
A 29-year-old man, Michael DeMartino, is accussed of the Sept. 25 robbery of a Yale student on Center and Orange streets, the Sept. 26 robbery of three Yale students on Humphrey and Whitney at 12:58 p.m., another robbery of a Yale student the same day on Orange Street and an attempted robbery the next day at Edgewood Park.
Iris Rosario, 23, was charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree and other lesser charges for her involvement in the Humphrey-Whitney and Edgewood Park incidents.
DeMartino was arrested during the attempted robbery in Edgewood Park last month but was just yesterday charged with the other robberies in the area. DeMartino and Rosario are being held on $300,000 and $150,000 bonds, respectively.
Julie Golomb GRD ’10, a graduate student who lives in the East Rock neighborhood, said the Humphrey-Whitney robbery was particularly frightening since it occurred in the middle of the day and the victims were walking in a group. Golomb said she was relieved the NHPD has someone in custody for the crimes.
Following the robberies last month, Yale Police Chief James Perrotti said in an e-mail message to the Yale community he was deploying a “special street crimes unit” to the East Rock neighborhood to try to prevent further burglaries in the area. The e-mail also said New Haven Police would be increasing their patrols.
In addition, residents have also taken measures to deter crime. East Rock resident David Streever formed a group called East Rock Neighbors, a group of locals who go out on walks or on bike rides together as a neighborhood watch, at the beginning of September. As the weather has gotten colder, the East Rock Neighbors have been going out less, but they will start patrolling again regularly in mid-to-late November, when crime historically peaks in the East Rock area, Streever said.
The arrests and increased police presence in the neighborhood have led to a dramatic decrease in crime in recent weeks, Streever said.