Robbery near overpass leads to extended Campus2Home hours

Michelle Merlin and Josh Goldman | Associate Editor

The robbery of two undergraduate students on the Greenway Walkway, the path connecting the bridge over Forest Park Parkway to Melville Ave., has led the University to expand Campus2Home shuttle service hours to near sunrise.

Effective immediately, the shuttle will operate from 7 p.m. until 4:30 a.m. from the Mallinckrodt Center and Brookings Drive stops. This is the second addition to Campus2Home service in the past 48 hours, as the rape of a student south of campus early Monday morning necessitated the expansion of shuttle service to areas south of campus as well.

The robbery occurred at around 1:50 a.m. Wednesday morning, when the two victims were approached by an individual displaying a handgun. The suspect asked for the cash of each victim, and after the students surrendered the money, the suspect fled the scene. Neither student was physically harmed throughout the ordeal.

Police described the suspect as a black male in his 20s or 30s, approximately 5 feet 9 inches in height and weighing 165 pounds. At the time of the robbery, the suspect was wearing a navy blue hoodie, possibly navy blue sweat pants, and a blue/grey mask covering his nose and mouth.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact University City Police, who can be reached at (314) 505-8652. University City and Wash. U. Police will also increase joint patrols of the area.

  • WU 2010

    jds6, it’s a shame that your friend doesn’t live in U City. If she did, the noise of someone rifling through her car would probably attract the UCPD instantly.

  • jds6

    While I am glad that WashU is finally starting to take security a little more seriously, I’m appalled that it has taken a rape and a robbery at gun point. I lived in the WashU owned Rosedale apartments first semester last year. In a 3 month period, my car was broken into or attempted to be broken into 5 times. Of these times, I was in the vehicle while it was happening once, and I was walking to my car when the man was going through my trunk the other time. WashU and StLPD’s response was that I should either buy a new car or move to a different neighborhood, not that they would be providing adequate security measures for students living in the area. This year, my friend who lives in Rosedale has had her car broken into twice outside her apartment. WashU needs to take a more serious stance in protecting the safety of its students.

  • Enough is Enough

    I wonder who profits more? The criminals robbing students or University City from court costs, fines, and legal fees?

  • Devil’s Advocate General

    You know what would absolutely delight this graduating senior? To see Chancellor Wrighton stiffen up his titanium spine and issue a public condemnation of the University City Police Department. Seriously, I can guarantee that that would ensure my alumni donations for years to come.

  • Wake Up UCPD

    A lot of commentators have asked why there was not a ucity cop car adjacent to the overpass. Probably because cop cars have increasingly been parking in the alley in kingsbury, ostensibly to intimidate students living in the area. In the past few weeks I have seen foot patrols of three and four officers walking down the alleyway. When i greet them they are curt and obnoxious. They seem to have forgot that students are not the criminals.

    It is clear that UCPD has been devoting a disproportionate amount of their scarce resources to harassing students. It was this irresponsible behavior that allowed this robbery at gunpoint to occur ON THE BRIDGE.

    Mr. Adams, I hope this is a wakeup call that can get ucity’s priorities straight and the police can get back to protecting us. Unfortunately, most of us are still more afraid of the police than muggers. My friend who was mugged lost about $40, my friend who was arrested had to pay over $1000 in legal fees.

  • christos armani

    I’m not going to coddle others on this message board (by showing extreme sensitivity / be politically correct), just so I can state an opposing perspective. If someone gets their feelings hurt here simply because I point out a logical flaw in their comment, thats called “class is in session”. With that said, I must say I agree with MTM & disagree with Sarah Miller. It isn’t racial profiling when you describe a perpetrator’s race. (I say this respectfully) If police used your line of reasoning when searching for perpetrators of crime, no one would ever be arrested. I do not condone racial profiling, however, when their are armed robbers, rapists & murderers in our community, I want the police to use whatever resources they need to in order to capture the cowards that have the community under siege, so long as they are not assaulting other citizens (of any race) in the process.

    This is about keeping people safe in the community, period. I work in north St. Louis County & St. Louis City, & I live west of the university. I can attest to the difference in crime levels between north county/city & where I live. The truth is that black violent crime is spilling over into the area surrounding the university (low socio economic circumstances are correlated with higher crime rates).

    (Glad to graduate said):
    When will this shuttle service be expanded to Forsyth, the only area with many students not currently served?

    Glad to graduate, Forsyth s is not the only area NOT currently being served. What about Clayton? What about students that need to go west? This service should at least be expanded to Brentwood or further. An average of 20 students rode the C2H shuttle prior to the expansion, & 43 students rode it the first night of the expanded service, though the capacity of the service is 192 students per night. With the expansion, the shuttle is still only operating at a very low level. Last year two black men (convicted felons/bank robbery gang members/attempted murderers) robbed a bank of america in Clayton (currently not being served by C2H), injuring people in the process. Yes (in case you are wondering), at least one WashU student was in the bank during the committing of this crime, as was I. Please urge the University to expand this service so that more students are not victimized!

    Other measures should also be implemented: Security cameras need to be put up in the areas where attacks have occurred, as well as around campus. Also, there needs to be more officers placed & greater patrols. Finally, we should consider a citizen patrol (like the Guardian Angels we have in California, who are highly effective).

  • cc

    Good boys don’t become cops. Cops are mostly high school dropouts and bullies.

  • BdB

    Glad to see a lot of the commenters (before the racial shit) share the same idea….
    I can see it now. Studlife’s next headline!

    “WashU student robbed, nearly murdered at RPG-point. Student feared calling for help due to fact that she might get arrested for violating the zero-tolerance policy. When asked why she didn’t call for help, the unfortunate victim stated, “It was horrible. I wanted to yell for help, but I knew the police would come and arrest me and my attacker would be gone. I figured it made more sense to stay quiet and let the attacker do his thing lest I get an arrest on my record”

    I saw more cop cars roll down Kingsbury on Friday night (rainy and before Thurtene carnival) than I EVER do walking down Greenway in the same period of time. Oh, how many cars and how much time? I was loading benches into a pick-up truck in a ten-fifteen minute period, FIVE cop cars rolled by. Oh yeah, one definitely stopped to ask what we were doing and remind us to be quiet (at least he was nice?)…preventing crime BEFORE it starts, right? Right?!?!

  • 15 dollars poorer but still alive

    Sara Miller, I respect where you’re coming from and understand your desire to subvert inequality. This is obviously a huge problem plaguing not only the St. Louis community, but our society at large. Surely your intentions are in the right place.

    The problem with your argument, however, is that the report here is simply not a case a racial profiling. While a real and serious problem, it is not at play in this article. The description of culprit reported by studlife is exactly the same as the one the victims gave to police. How do I know this? Because I was one of the victims. I saw the assailant, gun in hand, and what I saw is accurately reported by the police and by this article.

    I don’t mean to project any larger social truth about black males of average height and medium “built,” these are simply just the facts of the matter. That person is the person I saw. I understand your frustration, but this description was not meant to further racial stereotyping, rather to alert the community of a criminal at large.

    There are (at least) two dangers with stereotypes: first, the one you argue is the case here, is the fabrication of data to support the stereotype; second, the inverse of this (which I think is where you go wrong), is the denial of data because it supports stereotypes. Don’t discount something because it doesn’t match your sunny picture of utopian equality; unfortunately outside the Wash U bubble there is a real world, and it’s reality might be very different from how it is perceived from the vantage point of the ivory tower of academia.

  • MTM

    Sara Miller your argument is absurd and very unneeded. Just because all of the people who have been committing crimes happen to be black males doesn’t mean that giving truthful police reports is racial profiling. I’m sure if one of the criminals was a white female, then the victims would describe them as white female. It’s not racial profiling, its criminal profiling. Please stop disgracing the student body of WashU by trying to be active about an issue, such as racial profiling, which most likely does not pertain to you. Even though there are cases of racial profiling throughout the country, one can not just throw up their hands and pull out the race card at every instance a black person commits a crime.

  • Technically speaking…

    The noise ban is ridiculous, for all the reasons stated above.
    In reference to the post above, though, I don’t think you can really criticize them for publishing those descriptions. Those just happen to be the descriptions of the perpetrators, and although I see your point and agree that it can lead to racial profiling, I think it’s best to leave the descriptions in. What if, say, someone happened to see someone fitting that description and wearing the described clothing in the area around that time get into a distinctive car and thus had more information to give the police, shouldn’t they be able to have access to the info of a description?

  • Sara miller

    Isn’t there always a police officer at the over pass at night? Seriously U city police.

    Also,

    they keep describing the criminals as black males who are average height and medium built. All these descriptions do is encourage the u city police, wupd, and people on this campus stereotype and racially profile black males.

  • Thank you UCity

    It must have been a very quiet robbery, otherwise UCPD would have swarmed the area with guns drawn and ready to give strongly-worded warnings to these individuals for being out past bedtime.

    Good to see that I’m well protected both by my own University’s administration and the police department serving the area where I live.

    Can we get a statement from the UCPD regarding how many officers were around to prevent this kind of thing from happening that night versus how many of their officers they will devote to the area on Friday when WILD is scheduled? Did any of them see a suspicious individual? I know whenever I walk from campus to the loop there is usually at least one patrol hanging around, whether it is UCity or WUPD.

    It amazes me how fast the UCPD will respond to wiffle ball in the afternoon, but when actual crimes take place, they are nowhere to be found.

  • Glad to graduate

    When will this shuttle service be expanded to Forsyth, the only area with many students not currently served? Based on unofficial University policy, it will be after a student gets raped or robbed along that dimly-lit road.

  • Pre-Med Student – Wash Ave Resident

    It seems as if the U-City Police Department has completely forgot that we live in an extremely dangerous neighborhood. Sgt. Mike King dedicated his life to serving this community and was murdered at point blank range a block away from my apartment. Students are getting raped and robbed left and right in our community but the police focus more on enforcing a zero-tolerance noise policy than protecting our health and well-being. I personally was drinking a beer (I’m 22) in my own backyard with two other friends at 11pm this past Friday at which point a police officer rolled up to us, got out of his car and started treating us like WE are the problem in this neighborhood! The officer ordered us to dump out our beers and immediately go inside unless we wanted to be arrested. When he checked our IDs he asked me what I was studying and when I said I’m Pre-Med he then harassed me further, threatening me asking sarcastically if Med Schools would take kindly to an arrest record if he were to take me in right now. Is this the kind of treatment students off campus deserve? A bully with a badge verbally abused me and a few days later one fellow student is raped and another robbed at gunpoint. Stop harassing off-campus students UCPD officers and do your job! Protect us, don’t abuse us!

  • Off Campus Student

    I totally agree with the post above by Wash U Senior/U-City Resident. U-City Police are completely incompetent when it comes to protecting the student residents of the community but when it comes to attacking and harassing them they suddenly turn into the Spartans straight out of the movie 300. I am appalled, something really needs to be done about this.

  • Wash U Senior/U-City Resident

    In other news, the U-City police successfully thwarted any “rowdy” 3 person off-campus backyard BBQs last night. Glad to know the U-City police are doing their job and have their priorities straight. The U-City off campus community is about as safe as south central LA during the Rodney King riots for students and the rapists and robbers who are harassing us but when it comes to families complaining about a neighbor’s whiffle ball game at 4pm on a Saturday it seems as if U-City turns into a maximum security prison with 24 hour lock-down. Not to be insensitive to the victims of this crime and the recent rape near Skinker but this is an absolute discrace to the University and U-City. It is absolutely NO secret that the U-City police are blatantly profiling students (a friend of mine and recent alum was here last weekend and stopped by the police for standing in my backyard with 2 friends and was forced to show proof he was NOT a student at which point the officer stopped harassing him and focused solely on harassing the students he was with). Why doesn’t U-City PD profile rapists, robbers and murders? This is absurd. Shame on you Charles Adams (U-City Chief of Police).