Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Freshmen unfazed by newest assaults

As freshmen settled into college life during New Student Week, three separate attacks occurred Wednesday night in Evanston, including the attempted robbery of a Northwestern student.

The three incidents took place between 10 and 11 p.m., said Cmdr. Joseph Bellino of Evanston Police Department.

The student told EPD he was walking on the 1900 block of Orrington Avenue at about 11 p.m. when a man between 18 and 25, about 6 feet tall and wearing a dark blue hooded sweatshirt with a zipper approached him from behind and demanded his wallet, Bellino said.

The student, Weinberg senior David Deterding, told The Daily that when he turned around, the man punched him in the nose. He hit the man back in the face several times, knocking him down and causing the man to run away.

“I just started swinging and I hit him about three or four times,” Deterding said. “I think the third hit broke his nose because I heard a crack.”

Deterding said he might have have given the man his wallet if the man hadn’t punched him, but decided to fight back when he got hit.

“It was more reactionary than anything,” he said.

He said he was scared the night the attempted robbery occurred but still considers Evanston safe.

“I guess that just happens sometimes,” he said.

An hour before that incident, police said, two other unrelated robberies occurred south of campus in south Evanston. Two 16-year-old Evanston boys were robbed at the corner of Greenwood Street and Hinman Avenue, five blocks south of The Arch. Fifteen minutes later, two men approached a 27-year-old Evanston woman on the 600 block of Michigan Avenue. One displayed a handgun and demanded money.

But several parents and students interviewed Thursday said news of the robberies didn’t change their impression of NU and Evanston.

Medill freshman James Levy said he is careful not to walk alone, but still feels safe at NU.

“I think that anytime you’re going to be on a college campus, there’s going to be crime,” Levy said. “It’s important to find a balance between trusting your community and protecting yourself.”

Debbie and Randall Richert of Billings, Mont., were on campus to drop off their freshman daughter this week, and said they thought the campus seemed safe.

“If anything, we’ve had trouble getting in and out of her dorm room because of all the locks,” Debbie Richert said. “She’ll be safe if she’s careful.”

On campus, Assistant Chief Daniel McAleer of University Police said all freshmen must participate in safety information sessions during their orientation to learn about campus shuttles and personal safety precautions.

Bellino said EPD pays close attention to campus safety every fall, but the string of attacks on students near campus last year made it even more important to the department this fall.

“This year we’ve put together a more complete approach,” Bellino said.

Wednesday’s incident marks the 13th robbery or attack on a student since September 2003.

Special safety measures this year include additional patrolling of neighborhoods near the Evanston campus, distribution of personal safety pamphlets to students and Evanston residents, and community meetings for Evanston residents to talk with police.

“We’re trying to reassure both students and local residents that we want to take a proactive approach to this transitional period when we have an influx of people into the town,” Bellino said. “It’s our hope to demonstrate a greater police presence.”

Reach Alison Knezevich at [email protected].

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Freshmen unfazed by newest assaults