By Abigail Brooks
A freshman male suffered a broken nose and a broken orbital bone in a fight that occurred on West Campus in the early morning hours of Sunday, Sept. 16.
The victim was assaulted by a fellow University student, a junior male, in a dispute over a cab fare. According to Radnor Police Superintendent William Colarulo, the two students shared a cab with a few other students. The fight broke out after negotiations over splitting the fare of the cab failed. After the altercation the victim was transported, treated and later released from Bryn Mawr Hospital.
A subsequent email alert was sent out to students from Director of Public Safety David Tedjeske.
The suspect turned himself in to the police on Tuesday, Sept. 18. He was charged with both aggravated and simple assault, and was released on bail.
Along with facing criminal charges, he will also be facing judicial consequences from the University, according to Tedjeske.
Tedjeske said that an event of this kind has never occurred on campus before.
“There have been disputes between cabbies and students before, which is why cabbies have to drop off at the gates now,” Tedjeske said. “Maybe the cabbie charges higher than they should, or maybe a student will try to get out and run before paying. Making sure the cabbies drop off at the gates has cut down on a lot of these disputes.”
The University experiences approximately one instance of aggravated assault per year, according to Tedjeske.
Public Safety officers were not able to intervene in this particular incident because the assault transpired near St. Mary’s Hall, which is located away from the West Campus gate.
“At that point, the students involved were out of sight of the Public Safety officer,” Tedjeske said.
According to Tedjeske, students at the University did not receive a Nova Alert text message after the incident because it was not an emergency situation in which students would need to take immediate action.
However, an email was promptly sent out to students the following morning containing details of the altercation along with a warning advising students to “keep safety in mind when traveling during late night hours.”
“Just as walking alone at night is discouraged, students should be mindful that sharing a cab brings you into close contact with people who are relative strangers,” the email stated.
“The text blasts are for incidents that present a continuing threat to the campus or community, like a storm or a gunman on campus,” Tedjeske said.
“The University has really low crime statistics, and the decision to send just a safety alert email was made to let people know about a crime that may pose an ongoing risk, and to aid in future crime prevention. The message at the bottom of the email was about crime prevention. In federally classified crimes like burglaries or assaults, we have to consider sending a safety alert based on an ongoing risk factor.”
At the time that the safety alert was sent out, the identity of the suspect was not yet known. Tedjeske said that the incident occurred at approximately 12:47 a.m., but was not reported until approximately 3 a.m.