Saturday, January 15, 2022

Duke students 'don't feel that comfortable' after recent attacks

— A 911 call released Monday revealed that a woman who was attacked at Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham on Saturday was not only cut on the hand, but also on the face.

Police said a woman was robbed of her purse and attacked with a stun gun and knife at about 12:45 p.m. 911 callers said the victim was screaming for help, and strangers nearby ran to get there.

“It’s pretty scary,” said Catriona Harvey, a senior at Duke University. “I don’t feel that comfortable even walking to the bus stop because I’m off campus.”

In a separate attack, police said a man took out a knife and sexually assaulted a woman near Swift Avenue and Campus Drive at about 10 a.m. on Nov. 30.

“It was really surprising to hear it happened at such an innocent time,” said PhD student Moryel Saify.

In response to both incidents, Duke said it is expanding its Duke Vans program, which provides rides to students. Duke police officers are also available for a walking escort.

While some students feel those programs may help, they acknowledge it is impossible to ensure safety 100 percent of the time.

“The Duke Gardens are huge,” said Saify. “There is no way they can cover all that area. It seems like it’s just something that’s unfortunate, but it’s really hard to prevent.”

The suspect in Saturday’s robbery is described as a man, 6 feet tall with a thin to medium build. He was in his late 30s, had no facial hair, short to medium hair and was wearing a black sweatshirt and dark blue jeans. Police do not believe he is a student.

Anyone with information about the incident should call Duke University police at 919-684-2444.

A special thank you to our friends at WRAL for helping out with this post.

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