Less than a week after a student was shot in the hand in an attempted mugging on Howe Street, a Yale employee was reportedly assaulted in her apartment building on the same street.
Ashley Norman, a 22-year-old lab coordinator, said she was thrown to the floor and mugged as she waited for the elevator at 84 Howe St. at approximately 7:45 p.m. Thursday evening.
“He put his arm on my neck and threw me on the ground,” she said. “I blacked out for a second when I hit the ground. He hit me in the face and ripped my purse off my arm.”
As of Friday, New Haven Police Department spokeswoman Bonnie Winchester said she had not heard of the case and could not comment. Yale Police Department Lt. Michael Patten said Norman’s case was out of the YPD’s jurisdiction.
The man, who Norman described as a light-skinned black man, about 5-foot-7-inches tall and in his mid-to-late 20s, was wearing a baggy shirt and jeans. He followed her into her building, telling her that he was visiting a friend, she said.
After the alleged attack, Norman was kept in Yale-New Haven Hospital overnight. She was discharged Sept. 2, according to hospital records.
Norman moved to New Haven during the summer after graduating from the University of Georgia to take a job at the Yale Infant Cognition Center. On the night she was allegedly assaulted, she had been at a reception at the Yale University Art Gallery with her neighbor, Sean Khorsandi ARC ’06.
“We had been at the open house, but split up once we reached the Art and Architecture building,” he said.
Right after the alleged attack, she called Khorsandi, who said an ambulance, fire truck and police officers were on the scene when he arrived.
The apartment building where Norman lives, located across from Mamoun’s, is home to many students and others associated with Yale, and Khorsandi said that the University needs to better protect areas like Howe Street.
“Yale has to recognize that they don’t provide any housing for Art and Architecture students, but as these programs are growing, we’re forced to live further and further away,” he said. “Yet, we’re left to our own devices even though Yale owns the buildings across the street [from 84 Howe St.].”
John Chen ’06, who lives at 70 Howe St., said while he has not encountered serious security concerns, both his and his roommate’s bicycles were vandalized while locked outside his house this fall. Chen said he believes University police should increase their presence in the area to better ensure students’ safety.
“Howe Street is full of Yale students,” he said. “I personally think that it seems that with the mission of the Yale police to protect the Yale campus … it would be a great move if the Yale police did more on Howe Street.”
Less than a week before Norman’s attack, Thomas DeLong DRA ’07, a 27-year-old graduate student, was shot in the hand by a man who tried to mug him near the intersection of Dwight and Elm Streets.
“You hear people give you safety warnings, but maybe Yale will put a blue light on Howe Street,” Norman said.
Blue phones, used to call University police, are currently located only on campus.
–Staff reporter Dan Adler contributed to this report.