A Yale sophomore was robbed at gunpoint on High Street outside of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity last Wednesday night.
Shortly after 10:15 p.m., Eve Holwell ’04 was walking on High Street toward Crown Street when two men walking the opposite way approached her. One of the men grabbed Holwell’s arm and pointed a gun at her stomach before demanding her money, Holwell said. She handed him her wallet — which contained $10, her Yale ID card and room key — and then proceeded toward Crown Street when the man told her to “run away and don’t look at us.”
Holwell, a former Yale Daily News staff reporter, was not harmed during the altercation.
She said both men looked young and may have been of above-average height. The man who grabbed her wore a loose-fitting dark coat with a hood.
She said that she did not notice anyone suspicious when she first turned onto High Street and that she was taken entirely by surprise. There are only three street lights in the area by Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and while they illuminate the road, they often leave the sidewalks in the shadows.
Also reducing brightness, the Oxford and Cambridge apartments — located directly across the street from Sigma Alpha Epsilon — are completely boarded-up. The lack of any background lighting from these apartment buildings contributes to the darkness of the alley next to the fraternity house. In addition, there are several smaller potential hiding places near the bushes in front of the apartments where one might be able to conceal oneself.
But despite the lack of visibility, some High Street residents said they believe their neighborhood is not the stereotypical place for a mugging to occur.
“I generally feel very safe here,” said Shawn Fields ’03, who lives in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house. “I walk back and forth from the house to Crown Street — sometimes at 2 or 3 a.m. — and there’s never been a problem.”
This incident comes nearly one month after the Yale Police Department released statistics showing that overall campus crime decreased 12 percent from 2000 to 2001.
Holwell said she is relieved to have escaped unharmed but is still worried that potentially dangerous people are in possession of her ID card and room keys and may be able to find her again.
“The locks [on my room have still not been changed,” she said. “That worries me a bit.”