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Just In: Assault At RC Brings Up Questions About Safety

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John Stang – Co-News Editor

On Saturday, October 2 a male RC student was assaulted by four men who asked for a cigarette light and then proceeded to beat him. The student was able to fight and get away. After returning to his dorm room, he was able to call 911 and reach the Salem Police Department. Following that event, Campus Safety sent out a Maroon Alert text message and email around 12:30 a.m. on Saturday night.  Another Maroon alert was issued later in the evening to provide more details about the incident. Other students were also approached by the four men for a cigarette light, but were not assaulted.

“None of us had ever seen any of them before. They didn’t look like they belonged on campus,” McDearmon said to the Roanoke Times. “They looked more like street people, from the clothes they were wearing. They didn’t have any bookbags with them. It just seemed kind of weird.”

The location of the assault was at near Dulaney’s Alley near city hall and next to one of the campus parking lots. The student who was attacked was 18-years-old is reported to be at Roanoke Memorial Hospital where he is being treated for severe wounds. So far, only one arrest has been made in the case.  The person was a 17-year-old male, his name was not released. Salem Police also declined to talk to the Brackety-Ack because of the sensitive matter of the case.

To warn students of the potential dangers, Campus Safety has sent out various emails providing tips on how to stay safe. Among the pieces of advice given are to not go out alone at night, stay near lighted areas, and to act responsibility when drinking alcohol. One of the latest emails reminds students about the yellow emergency phones. If students push the red button on the phone it will dial 911.

Of course, the event does bring more attention to students to be aware of their surroundings, but overall most RC students feel pretty safe on campus.

“I feel safe on campus,” said Shelby Hargrave ’13.

Through the RC website, student email, and several of the local news outlets students can stay informed about the case. Using the Maroon Alerts text messaging and email system allows for a campus wide plan in case there is another event like this again. Oddly enough, there was a Maroon Alerts test just a few weeks ago. Overall, students have the tools to find out what is going on and in order to stay safe.

“I do feel safe on campus in general, but the assault makes you feel less safe,” Lee Ellen Parcell ’13 noted.