The recent spike in campus crime is continuing to escalate with additional violent crimes on and near campus -- including two assaults and several robberies, one involving a gun -- plaguing the area over the last week and a half.
Most recently, two male students were assaulted by four males unaffiliated with the University at approximately 1:07 a.m. on Friday at an outside location near 200 S. 40th Street, according to University Police.
Detective Frank DeMeo said that following "some kind of argument" and the consumption of alcohol, the male suspects, all of whom have since been apprehended, "jumped" the students. One required treatment for facial lacerations at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, received several stitches above his right eye and was placed in a neck brace, while the other refused treatment.
Police responded to the incident, and all four suspects were taken to the Southwest Detectives Unit, where they were charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person, DeMeo said.
Another assault occurred at approximately 11 p.m. on Sept. 21, when a male, whose affiliation with the University was unspecified, reported that he was assaulted by a group of four to six juvenile males while walking eastbound on the 4000 block of Sansom Street, according to DeMeo.
The victim told police that one of the individuals punched him while the others, all of whom appeared to be between the ages of 14 and 16, slapped him. The males then fled through a parking lot towards Chestnut Street, he said.
The victim refused to be treated for any injuries and was unable to positively identify any suspects, DeMeo said.
In addition, the past week has also seen more reports of robberies, at least one of which involved a weapon.
On Tuesday, a male student reported that he was walking east on the 4100 block of Spruce Street at approximately 10:53 p.m. when two males, one of whom was armed with a silver handgun, approached him and demanded his wallet and cellular phone. The student, who was uninjured, handed the items over and was then instructed to walk away quickly, police said.
The suspects in the case were both identified as black males between the ages of 17 and 20. One is described as being 5'9'' and weighing 170 pounds, wearing a black "hoodie," jeans and a dark baseball cap. The second is described as roughly 5'5'' and 135 pounds, and was wearing a black "hoodie" and jeans at the time of the incident.
No arrests have been made in connection with this incident, according to DeMeo.
Earlier that week, on Sept. 20, a female, who police said is employed by a hotel near Penn's campus, reported that she was chased by three female suspects on the 4000 block of Baltimore Avenue at about 11:50 p.m. When they had reached 4004 Baltimore, the suspects caught up with the woman and began to beat her and took her purse, DeMeo said. They then fled westbound and entered a vehicle, identified as a 1994 Chevy, but were followed by the victim, who attempted to stop them and was "fighting" with them.
At that point, the scene was spotted by two police officers, who apprehended the three females. They were subsequently charged with robbery and related charges, DeMeo said.
The victim sustained a bloody lip and chipped tooth and was treated at HUP, he added. Her purse and its contents were recovered inside of the vehicle.
An attempted robbery also occurred last Monday, when a male University employee reported that he was approached by four males while walking south on 40th Street, near Ludlow Street, at approximately 9:56 p.m.
According to police, the employee said that the males demanded his umbrella. When he refused, they attempted to take it from him, and it broke, DeMeo said. The employee also reported that one of the males attempted to punch his face, but he was uninjured. No arrests were made in the case.
These recent robberies are among more than 15 to have struck campus and the surrounding area since the beginning of the academic year -- a number that prompted University Police to heighten security measures early last week.
While DeMeo noted that police have made some arrests in the past few days -- two of which were in connection with a robbery that occurred on Thursday just outside University Police jurisdiction and one of which was directly following an attempted theft at 235 S. 41st St. early yesterday morning -- many suspects involved in the recent crimes have yet to be apprehended.
"We're still putting information together, and we have some other things that we're doing," DeMeo said.
He said that the current crimes do exceed those in previous years, but added that there is usually a rise towards the beginning of the year.
"It's spiked a little, we're not totally sure why, but every September, we see a little spike in crime," he said. "It just went a little higher this year."
"We've taken extra measures," he added. "We have our officers in plainclothes running around out there."Comments powered by Disqus
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