Last fall, a University biochemist was fatally stabbed, and a student was shot in an attempted robbery. East Brunswick, N.J. A researcher was stabbed to death and a gunman shot and wounded a student last fall in unrelated incidents amid a crime wave that saw more than 30 robberies on and around campus in the month of September alone. University biochemist Vladimir Sled, 38, was stabbed to death Halloween night as he walked home from work with his fiancee, University researcher Cecelia Hagerhall, near 43rd Street and Larchwood Avenue, a few blocks from campus. Eugene "Sultan" Harrison and Bridget Black allegedly attempted to rob Hagerhall of her purse while a third suspect, Yvette Stewart, waited in a get-away car. According to a statement Stewart gave to police several weeks after the robbery, the three were high on crack cocaine and were driving to Billybob's restaurant at 40th and Spruce streets when they began searching for someone to rob in the University City area. Black allegedly stabbed Sled in the back five times when he tried to prevent Harrison from stealing Hagerhall's purse. Philadelphia Police arrested the suspects after obtaining photographs taken by automated-teller-machine security cameras when Harrison and Stewart allegedly attempted to use, without success, Hagerhall's ATM and credit cards. Sled, a well-respected researcher in the University's biochemistry and biophysics departments, turned 38 just days before his murder and left behind a 12-year-old son. In a bitter irony, when the elder Sled was 12 years old, his father died of a serious illness. In an unrelated incident, Christopher Crawford, 20, of Wilmington, Del., pleaded guilty to attempted murder, robbery and criminal conspiracy in connection with the September 25 shooting of College senior Patrick Leroy -- in a robbery attempt -- and five other armed robberies. Crawford and Albert Bandy, an accomplice, have appealed their April sentences for 20 to 40 years in prison, while the third person involved in the crime, Christopher "Big Boy" Jones, was sentenced to 20 to 60 years in jail for driving the get-away car and participating in several other armed robberies. Attorneys for Crawford and Bandy said the two were under the influence of drugs during the robberies and the shooting, which occurred on the edge of campus at 40th and Locust streets. As Leroy, College senior Leonard Dunn and Wharton senior Cameron Reilly walked north on 40th Street from Smokey Joe's Tavern, Crawford and Bandy approached them and warned them not to run. When Bandy told Leroy not to flee, Leroy -- a Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity brother -- retorted "don't tell me what to do." Bandy then told Crawford to "shoot that motherfucking pussy." Leroy fled south from the scene and Crawford shot him in the lower back. Leroy's shooting was one of more than 30 robberies and attempted robberies in September 1996. Managing Director of Public Safety Thomas Seamon said in late September that police arrested suspects in connection with two-thirds of the robberies. The crime wave sparked outcries from students for improved safety and security measures. And more than 500 parents attended a safety forum last November, with many of them yelling at and booing University President Judith Rodin and Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell when the officials tried to discuss possible solutions to crime besides a heightened police presence. The Division of Public Safety hired 14 new University Police officers in March and is slated to hire five more after their graduation from the Philadelphia Police Academy this summer, bringing the total number of officers to approximately 100. But sources said only six University Police officers were on patrol when Leroy was shot. In an unusual incident last November, a Drexel University student was critically injured after she fell 13 stories while attempting to rappel out of a window down Graduate Tower B on the Penn campus. The woman and another classmate were visiting another Drexel student who lived in the dormitory with 20 other Drexel students as part of a pilot housing program between the neighboring universities. Penn officials said after the incident that they would reconsider the program.Comments powered by Disqus
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