Robbery details emerge, Brown to reconsider safety procedures

A Boston University Medical Campus research assistant suffered two stab wounds in an armed robbery in Brookline Tuesday night, according to a Brookline Police Department incident report.

At about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night, the 38-year-old victim, whose name was omitted from the report, was walking near on Pleasant Street from Commonwealth Avenue to Beacon Street when two male suspects who were sitting on the steps in front of 94 Pleasant St. attacked him, the report stated.

The suspects were described as two males, between 5-foot-10 and 6 feet tall, of average builds, wearing black hooded fleeces or sweatshirts with blue jeans and what appeared to be knit hats pulled over their faces. The victim was unable to tell what ethnicity the suspects were.

BU President Robert Brown sent an email to the community Wednesday afternoon acknowledging the number of robberies near West and South Campus.

“This attack is especially troubling because it is the first instance in which assailants have actively used a weapon rather than the threat of violence,” Brown said.

The victim reported being grabbed from behind and thrown to the ground. His black Patagonia backpack, which was carrying a MacBook Pro, a Verizon cellphone, an iPad and a brown leather wallet containing between $20 and $40 in cash, credit and ATM cards, was taken.

The suspects punched the victim once or twice on the left side of his face after throwing him to the ground. They then fled down Browne Street toward St. Paul Street.

A Brookline Police officer was the first to arrive on scene and the suspect reported he was bleeding. The officer located a stab wound on the victim’s upper right chest.

Brookline Fire Department personnel later located a second apparent stab wound on the victim’s upper left shoulder.

Both wounds were about one to one-and-a-half inches wide. The victim reported not being aware he had been stabbed and did not see a weapon in either suspect’s hand.

The victim was transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center by ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries.

Brookline Police, Boston University Police Department and Massachusetts State Police responded to the scene and are investigating, according to a BU Alert sent to students Tuesday night. No suspects have yet been identified.

This incident is the eighth robbery or attempted robbery on or near the Charles River Campus during the 2012-13 academic year.

Brown said he met Wednesday morning with BUPD Chief Thomas Robbins to establish steps to be taken based on ongoing investigations. Robbins is working with Brookline Police, who have primary enforcement authority in the area.

“Because of the prior series of robberies, we had added Boston University police patrols in the neighborhoods — significantly bolstering coverage,” Brown said. “But, clearly, recent experience suggests that we must — working with public officials — reevaluate current procedures and seek new approaches.”

A number of BU students said they are concerned by the latest incident in a string of robberies during the academic year.

Sarah Baiz, a second-year Graduate School of Arts and Sciences student, said she is alarmed by the escalation of violence in Tuesday’s robbery.

“Knowing that there are actual injuries, that does [worry me], because it means that they’re getting more violent,” she said. “Before … there weren’t injuries, which means it was more of a scare tactic. This time, they [the robbers] are definitely going after somebody, and they’re willing to hurt.”

CAS sophomore Monica Tanouye said she is skeptical of BU’s response.

“I’m unsure about how confident I am in the university’s ability to handle a situation because — just as a really stupid small thing — the email that we got today from the police chief, Robbins, there’s a typo in it,” she said. “You can’t even send this email, do this part correctly. How am I supposed to expect you to actually be able to catch someone that’s robbing people and catching people on campus?”

Margaret Waterman contributed to the reporting of this article.

One Comment

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