A Yale College junior was held at gunpoint on Edgewood Avenue Sunday night — the latest in a series of crimes this year that have led University Police to send patrols off campus and into the Dwight neighborhood.
The student was grabbed by a man who demanded her money and cell phone at approximately 9:30 p.m. as she was walking east on Edgewood toward Park Street, Yale Police Department Lt. Michael Patten said.
“The man pulled her into an alley,” he said. “He took out a silver gun and pointed it.”
The man initially took the student’s money and cell phone, but gave them back to her, Patten said. The man may have seen one of several YPD officers in the area, prompting him to return the victim’s belongings, Patten said.
Yale Police responded to the incident after receiving a call from the student.
Unversity Police Chief James Perrotti said there have been three other reported cases of robberies involving Yale students and staff since the start of the school year. Most of the incidents have occurred early in the morning in the area of Dwight, Howe and Edgewood streets.
“We’ve seen an increase in street activity predominantly involving groups of young males on bicycles throughout the summer,” Perrotti said. “This has caused some concern and the city is engaged in working on this issue.”
The rise in street crime has sparked several responses. Perrotti said both University and city police have increased patrols. Additional YPD officers now patrol on Dwight and Howe Streets as well as Lake Place.
“We’re putting a lot of resources into this,” he said.
Over the summer, Perrotti said, police met with members of the Yale Child Study Center and the New Haven Board of Education in a forum chaired by New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. to discuss the recent increase in violence committed primarily by young adults. The Board of Education is organizing meetings with parents of New Haven youths in order to address the increase in criminal activity.
Perrotti said students can play a role in reducing crime as well. In response to his campus-wide e-mails, students have written to Perrotti about areas that seem dangerously dark and ways to improve Yale transportation services.
“If everyone did this regularly, it would help to curb crime,” he said.