On campus attack leaves student injured and afraid
“I don’t feel safe anymore.”
Those are the words of a UALR student who was mugged outside of Fribourgh Hall on Monday morning, Jan. 21.
The victim – who wishes to remain anonymous – has been at UALR for the past two years working toward her Ph.D. in astronomy.
Campus was closed the day of her attack, on account of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Like many other graduate students, however, the victim came to campus to study and conduct research as she normally does. She shares an office in Fribourgh Hall with one other graduate student.
“My officemate was studying,” she said. “Since he was studying, my mom called, and I didn’t want to disturb him, so I went outside.”
While talking to her mom, the student noticed two men walking toward her.
“They were walking, they saw me, and then they separated,” she said. “One of them left; the other one started to approach me. Then, I got uncomfortable and I took my key and tried to open the outside door, but he was already there.”
“He asked me, ‘Can I use your phone?’ I said, ‘I am already using it.’”
Because the man could not see her iPhone, he did not seem to believe she was actually on it, she said. She was using earbuds and the phone was in her pocket.
“He punched [me] and just grabbed my phone and ran away. It was so quick, even I didn’t have time to turn my key.”
The victim said that she does not remember much after taking the blow. When she finally rose from the pavement, she said that she stumbled into the restroom.
“I saw lots of blood, then I realized he really hit me. Then, I started to scream. Then, my officemate came outside and the guy from the library who was parking next to the library [heard] my scream.”
“They asked something. I just said ‘someone attacked me.’ They said they saw my blood and they called 911.”
According to an email sent out to all UALR employees, the call was made at 11:26 a.m. Police reportedly arrived at the scene at 11:28 [a].m. (Updated 03/1/2014)
Paramedics also evaluated the student’s condition and asked if she would like to go to the emergency room.
“They said, ‘We advise you to go, but it seems OK.’ Then, I said, ‘I don’t want to go right now’ because I was alone. I didn’t have a phone. I needed to reach someone first; so, I didn’t go with them.”
“Then my friends came. Whenever I talked with my mom, we went to the emergency room and we understand that my nose is broken. It still is broken.”
For an entire week, the student said she rested and kept ice on her face.
“It was just one punch, but it was so strong. I wasn’t in the condition to talk or speak or write.”
During that week, she said her roommates kept up with her emails.
“They checked my email and they told me that they sent this email,” said the student, referring to the email sent to employees concerning her attack. “I told them to write, ‘I’m offended by that email.’ It wasn’t a small event. I have a broken nose. How can you say I am not injured?”
The next morning two police officers visited her house. She gave them the tracking number for her phone, but they were unable to locate it. The student said her main concern is not the phone but the emotional trauma of her attack.
She typically arrives at campus around 9 a.m. and parks at near Jack Stephens. The walk to Fribourgh Hall was very difficult her first week back.
“I couldn’t go to the office. Just passing next to it makes me shaky. I was trembling.“
Her advisor noticed her condition and allowed her to take another week off. As of Feb. 3, nearly two weeks after the robbery, she was finally able to face going inside the office – though she remains apprehensive.
“I heard a noise, I just jumped. I don’t know how I will study in that office. My research is all about my office. I need to be there to study.”
The victim no longer comes to the campus on weekends and has decided to leave campus before dark. She recommends that the university install cameras and have more police walking through campus to, at least, to make students feel safe.
The student is grateful for the Good Samaritan who found her screaming that day. She has been unable to get his information from police, though, because the case is still active.
“If there wasn’t any guy from the library, I’m not sure what would have happened to me.”
If you have information regarding this case, please contact the Department of Public Safety at 501-569-3408.