A group of Rochester youths attacked two freshmen living in Gilbert Hall on successive nights last week. One assault took place on Sept. 11 and the other happened Sept. 12, both around 8:30 p.m. UR Security apprehended the group immediately after the second incident. Two of the youths who were present at the first assault were also there for the second.

The first victim said that the youths that attacked him seemed to be his age. The youths that came on the second night were younger, between the ages of 10 and 14.

Junior and Gilbert Residential Advisor Eli Hale dealt with the incident on the first night because the victim was his resident.

“I actually found out a couple of hours after it happened,” Hale said. ” My student hadn’t been talked to yet on a friendly basis. I talked to my student and made sure he was alright.”

“He was shaken up but he was able to walk away, it was more traumatizing for him mentally,” Hale continued.

The youths who were apprehended on the second night were turned over to the Rochester Police Department who returned them to their parents or guardians. They were not arrested because while the identification was strong, it was not enough to make the arrest. In addition, the youths were all minors and the victim of the second incident declined to file a report with the RPD.

“It is a macho thing,” Director of Security Walter Mouldin said. “The six boys were out and their mischief turned mean when they decided to provoke fights. They should have been some place else.”

The first assault occurred when a freshman male was walking from Wilson Commons to the Residential Quad on Faculty Road. A group of five young adults approached him and brushed against him. This led to a verbal exchange and then a physical altercation where the freshman received several blows to his face and scratches on his wrist.

“They attacked him and he couldn’t get away. They threw him against the light pole outside the quad office and he was battered. They also poured water on him,” Hale said.

The student filed a report with UR Security at 8:38 p.m., minutes after the incident. He also filed a report with the RPD.

Hale said that the second incident occurred in a shorter amount of time and was less severe than the first.

This incident also occurred on Faculty Road at approximately the same time the following day, when one of the youths, this time in a group of six, approached the freshman and asked him for the time. When the victim responded, the youths engaged him in casual conversation while they surrounded him, and then proceeded to hit him in the face.

There were extra security officers on the second night in response to the first incident. The officers spotted the boys walking away and stopped them to ask what they were doing. While the security officer was talking to the boys, the second victim approached the officers and informed them that he had just been assaulted.

The victim from the first night positively identified two of the six youths as being there the night before. In both incidents, the culprits had walked onto campus via the Genesee River Footbridge.

“This is an unusual incidence, this has not occurred with youths before,” Mauldin said.

He said that security has increased in response to these events. A hall meeting took place in the Gilbert Residence Hall the day after the first attack to make students aware of its occurrence and to help them be aware of security precautions.

Director of Residential Life Logan Hazen stressed the importance of informing the UR community and encouraging safety.””We want to keep rumors down as much as possible by getting accurate information out there,” he said.

Freshman Rebecca Gilson, who lives in Gilbert, said that her RA e-mailed the floor after the incidents and told them to be careful and to travel in groups. “I am a little scared and kind of annoyed,” she said. “I have a lot of friends in Sue B. and I usually walked back at 2 or 3 in the morning, but recently I’ve been staying the night because I’m scared to walk home.”

Desai can be reached at mdesai@campustimes.org.

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