WashU student subject of aggravated assault; non WashU suspect facing charges
A Washington University student was punched in the face by a non-University affiliated man without provocation, per the Washington University Police Department (WUPD), Oct. 15.
Anthony McGee was issued assault charges through the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and released from custody the following day, Oct. 16. According to a University-wide security memo sent out by WUPD that same day, he was previously involved in “an incident involving a verbal altercation and spitting at another Washington University student.” The memo also stated that McGee has been given a “No Trespassing Order” and students should not approach him if seen on campus.
On October 18th, McGee was taken into custody by WUPD near the Greenway Overpass and transported to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department due to an outstanding warrant, according to a second security memo sent out by WUPD.
The student who experienced the assault wished to remain anonymous since it is still an active case. They said they were walking back from Panera on Big Bend with a friend when they were approached by a man they had never seen before.
“We were just walking on the sidewalk and then a man walking opposite to us, [who] I hadn’t really noticed because I was talking with my friend, just came up and punched me in the face, and then he ran away,” the student said.
After the two students flagged down a Clayton police officer from a block away to report the incident, WUPD was contacted and the student made an official statement at its office on the South 40.
The student said that they were initially unsure about pressing charges due to a lack of information about the process and charges but eventually decided to after speaking with an officer.
“When we were at WUPD, the police woman who initially helped me said, ‘I forgot to ask but would you like to press charges,’” the student said. “I asked her and she encouraged me, in a good way, to [press charges] because she said that if [I didn’t] he would be released right now, and she clarified to me that it was an assault.”
The student said they had to decide quickly if they wanted to press charges because if they did, the police would have to hold him in custody, whereas if they chose not to he would be released immediately.
This security memo is the third that has been sent out to the University community so far this semester, after four non-WashU individuals damaged a door in Shepley House and a student was robbed on Pershing Avenue.
WUPD Chief of Police Angela Coonce said that this incident was unique because it was completely unprovoked and there was no apparent motivation, but that the department is continuing to be vigilant against all crime.
“It’s just about us being vigilant and trying to be alert, [and] about trying to be in the right places at the right times,” Coonce said.
After the incident, the student said that they feel less safe off-campus.
“Nothing like that has ever happened to me before,” they said. “I definitely don’t feel as safe as I did before and it was surprising because I didn’t really do anything, I didn’t look at someone, it wasn’t an argument that led to something, it was just random and out of the blue.”