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UALR students victims of armed robbery

Submitted by Pauline Mothu on November 20, 2013 – 11:18 am2 Comments

Sophomore Phillip Clamon points toward the parking space where he and his friend Tanner Harris (left) were approached by an armed robber. Photo by KenDrell Collins

Two UALR students reported having been robbed last Monday around 11 p.m. in the South Oaks Apartment parking lot, located across from campus on Fair Park Blvd.

Tanner Harris and Philip Clamon were getting into Clamon’s car when an unidentified black male came toward them. “We were near the gate,” Harris said, “so we thought he was leaving but he rushed toward us, pulled out a gun and told us to drop everything we had.”

The robber asked for cash multiple times before forcing Clamon to drive downtown to the victim’s bank ATM.

“He somehow focused on Philip and left me behind, Harris explained, so when they were about 15 feet away, I started running towards campus. When I saw a police car, I explained me and my friend had been robbed and my friend had been kidnapped. They turned the lights on, told me to stay here, and left.”

Clamon said the gunman kept the rifle aimed at him, warning him to drive faster. He said he reached a speed of nearly 100 miles per hour and evaded the pursuing officer.

Meanwhile, Harris went to a friend’s apartment and called the police again. After explaining the facts for 45 minutes, they saw Clamon’s car coming back to South Oaks without the assailant.

Clamon told the police the assailant made him drive downtown to an ATM and threatened to kill him several times while they were together. “Philip told us the guy had his gun on Philip’s legs while they were driving. Philip also said they saw a police car but the assailant refused to stop and said he will kill Philip if he stopped,” Harris said.

Moreover, the assailant was counting down from ten while the victim was retrieving money from the ATM, threatening once again to kill him at 1 if he did not get the cash. “Fortunately, the money came out of the ATM right before 1,” Harris said.

Clamon was then forced to drop the assailant off and was told “not to come back or he will be killed.” The assailant left with a new IPhone 5S and around $180.

At the time of the incident, Harris, uncertain of his friends fate, was imagining the worst. He was worried his friend was dead, he said. Although he has already talked to people who have been in the same situation, Harris said he will go to the counseling services on campus.

“I am doing okay during the day, but I am still scared to go out at night,” he said.

Harris also said the victims could have been anyone. Unfortunately, he and Clamon were the victims that night.  If the two students had not crossed paths with the assailant, he may have easily headed toward campus in search of someone else to rob.

The criminal has yet to be apprehended and no suspects have been identified, according to Clamon.

If you have information in regard to the crime, contact Department of Public Safety at 501.569.3400.


  • Rafsan says:

    There should be more protection in the area near south oaks. Lots of UALR students are staying there because it is the nearest apartment complex to the university. I think the time has come when UALR must takes some positive steps to ensure the safety of it’s students.

  • Elena says:

    The sad thing is that the university has decided to require students to live on campus. It’s a matter of time before there is another tragedy on campus. I thank God that I’m finished in December and headed to Arkansas Tech for grad school in January.

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