Concerns surround recent NCSU crimes

April 17, 2008 5:19:54 PM PDT
A Triangle-area college student who was assaulted on N.C. State's campus Wednesday night tells Eyewitness News he feels fortunate he wasn't badly hurt.

David Johnson, 19, is a freshman at N.C. Central. Johnson and his girlfriend, who attends N.C. State, went to an event last night for Johnson's ROTC group.

He dropped his girlfriend off at her dorm, which is near Doak Field -- the baseball stadium -- on N.C. State's campus. Johnson says as he tried to get into his vehicle, a man attacked him from behind.

"Threw his forearm into my back and asked me for -- or demanded -- my wallet and my keys," Johnson said. "I spun and knocked his arm off my back and kneed him in the stomach and kicked him in his ground, and hopped in my car and sped off as fast as I could."

The attacker took off; Johnson wasn't hurt. He says he'd probably act differently if it happened again. He wouldn't fight back.

"I was stupid. He could've had a weapon of some kind on him. And just, I was lucky," Johnson. "Could be laid up in the hospital with a gunshot wound -- or worse."

Campus police have only a vague description of the attacker. They describe him as a man of dark complexion, a little more than 6 feet tall, weighing about 200 pounsd with shoulder-length dreadlocks.

Wednesday night's assault was the second in a week at that parking lot near Doak Field. Last Thursday, five teenagers attacked a student in the same area. The student wasn't badly hurt, but his PlayStation Portable was stolen. Two of the five suspects in that incident have been arrested.

In March, two masked gunman robbed a man at N.C. State. In another attack that month, two students were held up at knifepoint.

Campus police say they are likely to set up a task force to examine whether the crime is becoming a trend, but they insist students need not be frightened or paranoid. They should, however, be aware of their surroundings.

"Our campus is generally safe," says N.C. State Campus Police Capt. Jon Barnwell. "It's as safe as it always has been."

Johnson is relieved he's alright. But he's tired of the recent rash of crimes.

"I'm hoping to get the guy, but I'm also hoping stuff like this will stop on campuses," he said. "You're supposed to be safe on campus, you're not supposed to be worried about your safety."


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