Recent violent crimes committed against University of Dayton students on or near campus by people outside the UD community has forced some students to re-evaluate how they spend their weekends in the student neighborhood and its surrounding areas.
The series of criminal activity began Tuesday, Sept. 4, when a student was robbed of his wallet and prescription medication at gunpoint at around 6:30 a.m. in the Fairgrounds neighborhood. The student told Dayton police he had just parked his car between Jasper and Rubicon streets when an unidentified black man approached the driver’s side door brandishing a semi-automatic handgun, according to a Dayton Police Department incident report.
The suspect fled the scene with $10, the victim’s debit card, his identification and a small bottle of the prescription pills, said UD executive director of Public Safety and chief of police Bruce Burt. The student told UD police, who have been collaborating with city police in the ongoing investigation, that the suspect had a goatee, was about 6-feet tall, 185 pounds and appeared to be “homeless,” Burt said.
The criminal acts continued early Sunday morning, Sept. 10, in the student neighborhood. UD Police apprehended six male suspects around 2:15 a.m. in the 400 block of Kiefaber Street after the
department received a complaint over an alleged assault. The non-student suspects aged between 15 and 21 years old fit the description of a group involved in a physical altercation that took place outside 219 Lowes St.
After residents of the Lowes Street house refused to press assault charges, UD police cited five of the suspects with criminal trespassing which will prohibit them from entering campus property again, Burt said. The sixth suspect was in violation of his curfew set forth by prior Greene County Juvenile Court convictions and will be charged through the Xenia, Ohio court for the violation on a pending date.
Randall Groesbeck, a police department major and the director of administration and security for the Department of Public Safety, sent a student advisory email Sunday, Sept. 9, to UD students, faculty and staff reporting a robbery that occurred at about the same time and place of the previous suspects’ apprehension. A male student was reportedly walking in the 400 block of Kiefaber Street at about 2:15 a.m. when four black males silently approached him. According to the student advisory, one of the males punched the student before they took his cell phone in its case, a debit card and his ID card.
Burt said he’s confident the males suspected of robbing the student weren’t the same involved in the Lowes Street dispute because they were escorted off campus and had conflicting descriptions. Suspects involved in the Fairgrounds neighborhood and Kiefaber Street robberies have yet to be apprehended as investigations continue.
While much of the crime on campus is committed by non-students, Burt said the university’s open-campus policy and issues associated with profiling inhibit UD police from prohibiting people on campus to prevent such crimes.
“Really it just comes down to diligent patrolling and response in combating these crimes,” he said. “Students need to do us a favor and be more alert to their surroundings, too. Sobriety helps.”
Junior communication major Caitlin O’Connor, who lives in the 400 block of Kiefaber Street, said the recent incidents that transpired outside her house and in the Fairgrounds neighborhood have made her and her roommates take some extra precautions at night and on the weekends.
“We’re definitely a little more careful now,” she said. “We all make sure all of the doors are locked at night and we don’t let any of our friends walk alone at night anymore.”