A female Yale student was mugged at knifepoint Sunday while walking south on York Street, police said. Her assailants, who police said she identified as two black males, are still at large.

Around 3 p.m., the student was walking towards Crown Street via York Street when she was approached by two unknown black men who were on foot, New Haven Police Sgt. Jo Schaller said. One of the men allegedly said “Hi” to the student, and when she did not answer back, the other man grabbed her so that she could not get away. While the second assailant held her back, the first pulled a knife and demanded the student hand over everything she had in her purse, Schaller said.

The student surrendered some of her valuables and the men released her without injury.

Lt. Michael Patten of the Yale Police Department said Yale Police are working jointly with the detectives from the New Haven Police Department to solve the case.

New Haven police would not release the victim’s nationality, but multiple e-mails sent from students affiliated with the Asian American Cultural Center describe an assault on an Asian-American Yale student at exactly the same place and by the same perpetrators. One e-mail, sent by Jin-Woo Chung ’03, a moderator of the Asian American Students Alliance, said an Asian female Yale student had been stabbed during the past week in the York and Crown area. Sgt. Schaller said no stabbings have occurred during that time frame, and Saveena Dhall, an assistant dean of Yale College and director of the Asian American Cultural Center, sent an e-mail saying some of the information in Chung’s mass mailing was inaccurate. She added that the Asian American Cultural Center will assist the YPD and NHPD in their investigation.

This is not the first time the York and Crown area has played host to criminal activity.

Just after last spring break, two local men assaulted and mugged a sophomore on High Street near the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house. The perpetrators were later apprehended by police.

In early September, there were at least five robberies or attempted robberies of Yale students during the span of less than a week. Every victim reported being approached by a slender black man on a BMX-style bicycle who snatched her purse as he rode by. The New Haven man police believe to be responsible for these incidents is currently in custody.

At least three of the victims of the early September muggings are Asian-American, but New Haven police said they have no reason to believe these incidents are linked with Sunday’s robbery.

“Right, wrong or indifferent, these people might just see college students as an easy source of money for a robbery,” Schaller said. “I don’t think there’s any other common thread going on here.”

-Yale Daily News

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