Sunday assault near VCU campus the latest of several

Posted at 8:10 PM, Sep 23, 2012
and last updated 2012-09-24 00:10:30-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--Another assault by a group of people against an unknowing victim prompted an alert by the VCU Police, warning students of the crime early Sunday morning.

VCU and Richmond Police were called to the intersection of Gilmer St. and Broad St. just before 2 in the morning.  A man was walking with a group of people when he was approached by a group of six other men.

Two suspects in the group of six then punched the male victim in the head and ran off. Their motive for the attack is unknown.

“I saw a bunch of flashing lights,” Aidan Stewart said, who lives in the Carver District.  It didn't seem anything too out of place in the Carver to him. “We see that a lot,” Stewart said.

The man that was assaulted here was not a VCU student, but because of its proximity to campus, VCU Police still sent out an alert message to all their students.

One of Will Nelson's friends brought last night's attack to his attention.  Nelson is a sophomore at VCU.  The alerts help him avoid certain areas late at night, but Nelson said he has started to expect them.

“I was glad I knew it happened, but it was kind of like another night in the city,” Nelson said.

This latest incident adds to the list of group assaults in or around VCU's campus this year that have some questioning how police resources are being used.

“They’re so tedious on the little things about tickets and traffic stops that they're missing out on the assaults and stabbings and shootings,” Jehan Assad said, who lives near where the assault happened Sunday night.  “Thirty minutes later they come and it's over.”

Three months ago, Rumors Thrift Boutique moved locations, just across the street from Gilmer and Broad.

Nickolas Storm works at Rumors, and he said some customers thought the new area was unsafe.  Storm has lived in the city for several years, and he says the key to staying safe is knowing your surroundings.

“You know, walking with confidence and not putting yourself in vulnerable situations,” Storm said.

The suspects in this case are described as black males of an unknown age and were wearing dark clothing at the time of the assault.

Anyone with information about this crime should contact the VCU Police Department at (804) 828-1234 or text VCUTIP to 274637 anonymously.