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Attempted armed robbery on North Campus prompts public safety notice

An attempted armed robbery on North Campus spurred University Police to issue a public safety notice Friday morning.

The attempted robbery occurred on West 18th Avenue between McPherson and Smith Laboratories around 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

A female student was approached by three males, one of whom pointed a gun at her and another who stepped behind her to put his hand over her mouth and pat her down. The robbery was interrupted and the three men ran northbound away from campus, according to the public safety notice.

All three men were described as black males with braided hair, two of whom were about 5 feet 8 inches tall and the other who was about  5 feet 4 inches.

The first man, according to the public safety notice, was described as wearing an unknown color T-shirt and weighing between 150 to 170 pounds. The second was described as wearing a dark blue hoodie with piercings in his left nostril and left ear connected by a chain, weighing about 180 pounds. The third man, who was armed and pointed a gun at the victim, is described as wearing a long yellow shirt and weighing between 150 to 170 pounds.

University Police Chief Paul Denton said University Police searched aggressively through most of the night Thursday, and no new information on the suspects or robbery is available as of Friday.

Denton said public safety alerts detailing campus crimes aren’t issued frequently. However, he reminded students, staff and faculty to be vigilant when walking at night.

“As the weather turns warmer, as it has in the last few weeks, criminals often take this time to prey upon individuals,” Denton said.

The public safety notice notice asked anyone with information to contact University Police or Columbus Division of Police.

Public safety notices are issued when crimes are considered to be of a “concern and/or continuing threat to the campus community,” though it does not mean there was an increase in crime or a crime pattern exists, according to the notice.


  1. Three black males. I almost passed out from the shock!

  2. This is very, very bad. There is no way to sugar-coat it.

  3. “As the weather turns warmer, as it has in the last few weeks, criminals often take this time to prey upon individuals,” Denton said.

    You’d think because of this statement the brilliant Safety Department would increase some kind of police presence, even on campus. It’s absolutely absurd that people can’t feel safe walking ON CAMPUS. Certainly off campus is a bigger issue to tackle, but 18th before college? The safety department, campus cops ,columbus pd, whatever should be ashamed. Instead of responding immediately with multiple cars to noise complaints and kids peeing outside, why not actually do something about the gangsters and thugs who are taking advantage of students, especially females. Step up

  4. Completely right Shawn.

    This is very serious and will understandably have a huge effect on women deciding to come to campus. When an OSU bus driver threatened to “cut up” a traffic officer a few weeks ago and OSU and Columbus police decided not to charge him because he explained that he had just “lost his cool” it was obvious we had a problem with inept, unserious public safety officials.

    Last night’s incident calls for an all-hands-on deck, serious, very public reaction by the administration now, today. They need to replace officials, announce new policies and procedures and send a message that they are indeed stepping up.

  5. Peter Olesen Lund

    The robbery incident occurred at 10:30 pm (not a crazy late time) and on a Thursday evening. Any student might have left an evening class at 9:30 pm, stopped at the Engineering 24/7 Library or have been at Thompson Library which closes at mid-night week days.

    The walk area where she was accosted is a well lit and open area. There are three new engineering buildings there and all new, very open and well lit pedestrian walk areas. The area is well traveled and utilized by many students, faculty, and staff to go to and from the three bus stops for OSU and COTA busses that stop on Woody Hayes Drive in this north-central, on campus location or to go to the undergraduate and graduate on campus housing located between Woody Hayes Drive and Lane Ave.

    The report of this incident is very unsettling. What number of walking and/or bicycle campus police are on duty week day evenings at the present time? It may be time to organize and initiate a campus wide Campus Auxillary Pedestrian Security Patrol.

  6. This just begs the question of why the Ohio legislature, government and universities continues to disarm potential victims on any college campus in the state?

    While firearms are NOT the solution to every problem I can safely assume that the bad guys in this situation were not at all dissuaded from attempting a crime on campus because they knew that the ability for any law abiding student to defend himself or herself did not exist.

    A bad guy may think twice about robbing someone if there is a possibility that they are armed.

    I’m thankful that this ended the way it did and this poor girl lived to see another day unharmed for the most part, but this could have ended much worse…time to give students on campus a lawful means for defending themselves from violent criminals.

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