Park St. mugging prompts concern

New Haven crime came knocking on Yale’s backdoor Monday night.

A graduate student was robbed and assaulted by three unidentified females near the back gate of Pierson College on Park Street, Yale Police Department Chief Ronnell Higgins said in a campus-wide alert email soon after the incident. The victim, also a female, was thrown to the ground and assaulted by her assailants, resulting in minor injuries, YPD Spokesman Steven Woznyk said in an email Tuesday. Students and university officials said the incident’s proximity to Pierson and Davenport Colleges, as well as to undergraduate off-campus housing, is disconcerting.

“I find the incident pretty disturbing,” Davenport College Dean Craig Harwood said. “It’s our neighborhood ­— it’s right at our backdoor.”

Three students who live in Pierson and Davenport said they were worried about how close the mugging was to campus, and two said they would try to avoid walking by themselves on Park St. at night from now on.

In an email to Pierson students, Pierson College Master Harvey Goldblatt also called Higgins’s alert “disturbing,” and warned Piersonites to avoid walking alone. Harwood expressed similar concerns: all students should try to walk in well-lit areas and use Yale transportation whenever possible, he said.

Although the YPD has not made any arrests in connection with the incident, the department has begun to interview witnesses and review video footage of the area in hopes that investigators will find some leads in the investigation, Woznyk said.

In his email to the campus, Higgins said the YPD would be increasing patrols in the Park Street area in response to the mugging. In fact, the YPD has doubled its patrols in recent weeks in response to a rash of nearby incidents, Woznyk said. The additional patrols are concentrated in areas near the campus where there have been an overall increase in incidents, he added.

Because of the increased staffing levels, Woznyk said, officers on foot patrols were already on duty in the area when Monday night’s incident occurred.

Prior to Monday’s violent mugging, Yale saw a rash of shootings close to campus. Most recently, a March 23 shooting at Toad’s Place on York Street across from Trumbull College sent two men to the hospital.

“Our decisions on patrols and deployment are always informed by events and other relevant factors,” Higgins said in an e-mail to the News last week. “We have the ability to quickly devote effective resources to any area or crime issue around campus in coordination with the New Haven police.”

Other recent shootings include a March 14 shootout between two groups one block from Ingalls Rink, a March 18 shooting at the 100-116 block of Howe Street . where many undergraduates live, and a police chase-turned-shooting next to Yale offices at 25 Science Park.


  • The Anti-Yale

    Is YDN in a state of DENIAL?

    The rage of the average New Havener over violence in the Elm City never gets reported in your paper—-probably because you have no idea what an average New Havener is (and less interest)!

    Here is a sample from my own cousin:

    ***This is the first time in the 35 years of Toad’s that an incident like this has occurred. Now let’s look at some of the facts, shall we?
    The mayor of New Haven (John Destefano), has disbanded the drug task force, laid off 16 city cops, closed 2 firehouses, and is working on cutting back teacher jobs, all with in a 2 year period (the drug task force was closed 3 years ago, with the Billy White incident, and the cop layoffs happened about a month ago).
    The crime rate ( especially Shootings) has skyrocketed. My wife is still a paramedic in the city and not one night goes by that there is not a shooting, one after the night of Toad’s, where a white male answered his door on Bassett Street and was shot dead as he answered the door, point blank range in the chest, because he called the po-lice about a break in the day before.
    So that is what New Haven has become, a bunch of animals running wild, armed and dangerous. Mostly because all the gang bangers Billy White put away in the 1980’s are getting out of prison now, and they know,there are just not enough cops out there ( kudos to the mayor again) to respond to these incidents.
    I wonder what it’s going to take to stop this. One of the Lts. of NHPD that [sic] was laid off stated that ” The good citizens of New Haven had better arm themselves, because if you think things are bad now, wait until we are all laid off.” Guess he was right. Your cousin,***

  • Quals

    God forbid they post a description of the attackers. They might catch them, but that would offend the multicultural sensibilities of this administration.

  • timemachinist

    More police might help a little, but they tend to show up when the crime is over. As for drugs, taking dealers off the street a few at a time by the police will never keep up with the steady supply of new dealers and drugs because there is a huge demand –hundreds of billions annually are spent on illegal drugs. The only way to remove drug dealing from street corners and residential neighborhoods and take the violence out of it is to replace prohibition with a legally regulated market where licensed adults can buy drugs in regulated dispensaries. That would free up police and Justice system resources to concentrate on the real criminals: those who violate the person or property of others. Criminals make bad moral choices and should be removed from the streets, but the high unemployment and depressed economic conditions make legitimate paths harder to find. Such economic stress needn’t lead directly to crime, but when refracted through subcultures of alienation lacking respect for self and others, well….it puts the police in the job of broom and dustpan without much actual spill control in the first place.

  • timemachinist

    Well Quals, you could post that information yourself if you have it. We’d all like to see the criminals caught.

  • The Anti-Yale

    I like my cousin’s earthy language better than this pompous bloodless rhetoric about social structures.
    Yalies wouldn’t know how to tale with a real New Havener, except in patronizing academic polysyllabic babble


  • JE2011

    The Anti-Yale, could you please not paint us all with such broad brushstrokes?

    ..You old coot.

  • timemachinist

    Hello Anti-Yale, from one “average New Havener” to (presumably) another, I’m curious: exactly how much of the crime and violence problems in New Haven (or any city) do you think could be solved by “more police”? How much of the crime by how much of what kind of police work? Also, you give the impression of seeing no other factors here than lack of police. Do I misunderstand you?

  • The Anti-Yale

    I am not offering my cousin’s OPINIONS for consideration.

    I am offering the affective content of his words , the anger behind his words.

    It is THIS reality in New Haven which YDN denies and to use your own poster’s words “paints with broad brushstrokes” of wishful thinking or naivete.

    New Haven has been a seething cauldron of racial and ethnic and classist BIGOTRY all of my life
    ( a LONG life I admit as I push 67: and you ARE right, I AM an old coot—but I defy you to keep pace with me and my 36 blogs and my full time profession, 7-4 M-F) .

    It is still a seething cauldron.

    And the fire intensifies.


  • godard

    why do we have to listen to someone who chose “the anti-yale” as a username?

  • harbinger

    Let him have his soapbox, it’s the only thing left for the Anti-Yale. Plus he’s apparently in Vermont so quite safe from this seething cauldron of misery about to explode into class and race warfare at any moment. New Haven is no different than any other city if the same size and racial makeup. But it makes for good story fodder. Yalies get all hysterical, but refuse to identify the race of the attackers as that would be impolite. If that isn’t politically correct stupidity I don’t know what is.

  • SY10

    godard, it’s because he’s so important. How else could he have 36 blogs?

  • The Anti-Yale

    First of all, you DON’T have to listen to me. Just skip over my posts. (What kind of masochist are you?)

    Second of all, New Haven IS DEFINITELY DIFFERENT than other urban cities:

    l) It is my birthplace and childhood haunt;

    2) It has an employer whose buildings comprise a medieval castle (about the size of Windsor Castle) obstructing the center of the city, so that indigents and average Joes/Joans have absolutely no alternative if they wish to traverse New Haven, but to rub their faces in the fecal fealty which the princely palaces of Yale’s academic architecture insultingly demand.

    Yale is an upraised middle finger architecturally shoved in the faces of New Haveners, and has been so all of my life—- 24 / 7 / 365.

    Of course, Yale has no idea it affects indigent New Haveners this way.

  • 3lmcity

    Why is it Yale’s job to save New Haven?
    I ask this question in all seriousness. I

  • The Anti-Yale

    It is not Yale’s job to save New Haven. It is Yale’s job to save itself.

    And New Haven violence is tightening the noose around Yale’s Gothic neck.



    NB I have been saying this for two years.

  • timemachinist

    Part One of Two

    So much for figuring out whether more police will be enough to solve the problem….

    I hate to seem contrary, Anti-Yale, but as a local small towner who generally likes a dark sky at night, I have to say New Haven is the one city I truly love and in which I would consider living. I’d say about half of what I love about New Haven is Yale itself. Over the decades I’ve been to literally hundreds of events at Yale, mostly concerts but also academic conferences, festivals, many lectures and political events. Not to mention the galleries and museums. Yale is a treasure to many of us locals who never matriculated or even attended a class there. I’ve rented Dwight Hall (for a very nominal fee) for monthly and weekly meetings for organizations having nothing to do with Yale, I’ve even had access to a Sterling Library special collection for 1 day as a guest while I was a student at UCONN. Even walking or driving or pedaling through the streets of the campus, I get real pleasure from admiring the architecture and masonry of the various buildings. Except for the School of Architecture itself, appearing to have been designed in East Berlin, Germany –but still redeemed by the architecture museum/gallery open to the public. All in all, I feel that Yale is actually a very welcoming place to us non-Yalies.

    I understand class envy and the ruling class overtones of the institution, but that is due to America being a class society, not something evil about Yale. And I’ve heard this argument before about Yale’s architecture being out of place in the New World, but I find it magnificent and uplifting and a source of great pleasure decade after decade as I continue to marvel at it. The problems of New Haven are not the fault of Yale, they are typical of any American city and of many more cities worldwide.

    Of course New Haven has more great culture and architecture beyond Yale. There are great Asian and Mexican and Italian restaurants, and of course Mamoun’s. We used to be able to hear Grateful Dead and Allman Bros and Bob Dylan concerts at the New Haven Coliseum, but it appears to have been stolen in the recent crime wave. At least we can still catch some good acts at Toad’s, and some other places like Cafe 9. Crown Street is a great place to drink and look at college girls dressed to kill. And New Haven has some great political demonstrations from time to time, not to mention the other art galleries that aren’t Yale. It would be a shame to let the crime get more and more out of hand and ruin this great city of New Haven.

  • timemachinist

    Part Two of Two

    Anti-Yale is onto something, however craggy his presentation: there is a crime and violence problem in New Haven. But deeper than that symptom, deeper than “lack of police,” I’m trying to figure out why it has to descend into gangs and thuggery and what the real relationship these things have to culture, identity, poverty, etc. Sorry if it seems too academic but I thought a Yale news discussion on a mugging would be a good place for such an exploration.

    It is impolitic to say it and there will be plenty of exceptions but the violence does seem to primarily originate in the black neighborhoods and community. When it spills into the centers of commerce and culture it becomes everyone’s problem. Personally I hate racial politics, I don’t think race is a scientific or precise term, and racial identities seem entirely too superficial and artificial to mean much to me. Where I think more meaningful differences between people can actually be found is in moral character, judged on an individual basis. At a more social level, there are many subcultures (with imprecise overlapping boundaries and broader influences moving both directions) with a great variety of values and perspectives, and apparently much anti-social tendencies or dysfunctions. I abhor racism and admit there is more of it around than I used to think, but nonetheless I think that discrimination and prejudice and all that history are no longer adequate to explain the dysfunctions, the crime and poverty. But those solutions require more than legal equality, they require uplift from within the black community itself, and in a larger sense from within the families and communities and ultimately the individual hearts wherever crime and violence are chosen over honest work and human solidarity. But I expect Yale Divinity School graduates would be better qualified than I on these questions.

    And even if you think I’m not local enough to judge New Haven (though I do ride my bike into town for a haircut every 3 years), and I did make some shotgun barrels in the factory there for a few years before they closed it down. God Bless the Union! I feel I have some standing to discuss New Haven as I did get mugged myself on the New Haven Green when I was a 15 year old kid who took the bus to buy Cream albums at Cutler’s. A bunch of black kids surrounded me at the bus stop and tried to take my shopping bag but I wouldn’t let go (I delivered newspapers for 2 weeks to earn that money) until 1 of ’em said “don’t make me go into my pocket” so I let go. I was shaking the whole ride home, I never bothered telling the police.

  • attila

    PK gets up at 5am to post comments on the comment board of the student newspaper at an undergrad institution he never attended. That is, he’s a major looser. Ignore him.

  • Sara

    Looks like the inmates have taken over the asylum again.

    If you want to experience real “violence”, move yourself to the suburbs, or to a rural area. Because you’ll be driving longer distances, your chance of meeting a violent death will jump between 100 and 1,000 fold. Or move to NYC, and keep telling yourself that the subways, office towers, and train stations are now safe from terrorist attacks.

  • 3lmcity

    PK–your statement that you think it is Yale’s job to save just itself makes no sense.

    You wrote:
    Is YDN in a state of DENIAL?
    The rage of the average New Havener over violence in the Elm City never gets reported in your paper—-probably because you have no idea what an average New Havener is (and less interest)!

    If it’s Yale’s job to save itself, why should it care what the average New Havener thinks? Again, not Yale’s job. Its job is to worry about what affects the Yale community, not the average New Havener.

  • The Anti-Yale

    PK gets up at 4:45 AM to go to feed the dogs and go to work, M-F 7-4.

    He is a loser because he never went to the princely palaced undergraduate totemized Yale where spoiled future presidents’ grand /fathers steal an Apache Chieftan’s skull so they can drink booze out of it in the latent homosexual rituals of elitist secret societies.

    He is further a loser because he went instead to the academically ridiculed institution where the man he was named after taught for 40 years (Yale Divinity School) and where that man fought a Supreme Court battle for 15 years “United States v. Macintosh” for the right of selective conscientious objection.

    He is even more of a loser because his white maternal grandmother lived in a ghetto apartment with no hot water two blocks from Yale at Elm and state Street; and, his white fraternal uncle lived in subsidized housing for the poor (Brookside) and started New Haven’s FIRST bi-racial church (for the poor, of course) in 1956, Rockview-Brookside Community Church.

    He is even more of a loser because he worked with a female prostitute and heroin addict to keep her off the streets of New Haven, the first woman in America medically determined to have transmitted AIDS, at a time when AIDS was superstitiously thought to be solely a “homosexual disease” and anyone working to prevent its transmission was tainted with that taboo. (see “Helen”, the “60 Minutes” February 1984 episode).

    Finally, he is an all time loser because Yale’s Registrar’s office tagged him as being on “hardship status” when his income as a public school teacher was embarrassingly small by Yale standards for nearly 15 years.

    And post- finally, he is a loser in his own eyes because he bothers to answer smug elitists who post insults on the YDN posting board.



  • The Anti-Yale

    “driving or pedaling through the streets of the campus, I get real pleasure from admiring the architecture and masonry of the various buildings”

    Personally, I find the campus architecture inspiring and an aesthetic gift to New Haven.

    Aesthetics, however, is not everyone’s value system. Materialism and hedonism are the overwhelming values of our society if one watches the television programs offered to Joe/Joan Six-Pack.

    To many people, Yale’s architecture is a symbol of Yale’s affluence and a Yale-degree’s ticket to social mobility—in other words, an irritating reminder of their outsiderness from Yale’s privilege analagous to a society Grande Dame wearing diamonds and a mink coat to an orphanage.

  • timemachinist

    Dear Anti-Yale, If that is the case, then ANY OTHER architecture Yale might have had would also have symbolized the same thing, because apparently we are no longer talking about architecture but about class society. Again, the architecture is actually quite awesome, the best that all western tradition could offer to the builders of Yale, and I think many New Haveners might be glad to have it as part of our cityscape. I know I am.

    But getting back to the original topic of this discussion, I genuinely want to know your opinion on the questions I posed to you above. Help me think this one through. Here they are again:

    1) Exactly how much of the crime and violence problems in New Haven (or any city) do you think could be solved by “more police”? How much of the crime by how much of what kind of police work?

    2) Also, you give the impression of seeing no other factors here than lack of police. Do I misunderstand you?

    Thanks, –TM.

  • Hieronymus’ Bosh

    > “If you want to experience real
    > “violence”, move yourself to the
    > suburbs, or to a rural area. Because
    > you’ll be driving longer distances,
    > your chance of meeting a violent death
    > will jump between 100 and 1,000 fold.”will jump between 100 and 1,000 fold.”

    Sara! At last!

    The difference being that I have NOT met with violent death while driving but I *have* suffered several crimes (burglary x2, car theft x2, property damage, beggary-too-close-to-muggery, threats, and physical violence) here in New Haven. Don’t get me wrong, I love this city, but it is not so gentle and bucolic as you would have us believe (and nor are the suburbs as violent).

    So good to hear from you, though; your thoughts always amuse.

  • The Anti-Yale


    You do misunderstand me because I was quoting my cousin. His opinion about violence is not mine.

    My suggestion, which I have proposed for years, is that Yale engage in a massive gift giving campaign : Give EVERY lkid in new haven a lap-top computer. Let them improve their self-esteeem and their computer skills simultaneously. The computer is symbol of ACCESS. What causes violence is the powerless feeling that OTHERS have ACCESS ( to X, Y, Z) and not ME.

    As for the architecture: It would be less insulting to townies if it were turned outward in an embrace, instead of INWARD in a crouch, with its ass in the face of the citizens.

    Yale is a fortress. New Haveners are the OUTSIDERS.

  • 3lmcity

    I’ve concluded that you make absolutely no sense, PK.

    Above you say that it is Yale’s job to only save itself. Yet you then proceed to suggest that Yale engage in a massive gift giving campaign.

    Your observation about having architecture facing outward is absurd. All undergraduate institutions in urban areas need a way to keep non-students out of student facilities. Is Yale really keeping people out? There’s plenty of free access to SML, Bass, law library, etc.

    It’s clear that you have some sort of pent-up hostility towards Yale, but you should get over it. Yale never did anything to you or New Haven.