Assaults at Wellness Center spark concern

By Alex Lamp

Violent crimes against City College students at the Wellness Center and the surrounding neighborhood that occurred in March and April were a brief topic of discussion at the College Participatory Governance Council under-enrollment meetings on April 17 and 18.

There were three separate violent incidents committed against six City College students.

“We had a female student who was assaulted in the women’s locker room, followed by three student athletes who were held up at gunpoint a block away from the Wellness Center, and then we had a student held up in a bathroom in the Wellness Center,” said Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance Peter Goldstein.

On March 9 at noon, a woman was assaulted in a shower stall of the women’s locker room in the Wellness Center. According to a campus crime bulletin, the suspect was hiding in a stall next to the victim when he entered the victim’s stall and grabbed her. The victim fought off her attacker while he tried to cover her mouth. The suspect absconded the area after the struggle.

On April 4 at approximately 2 p.m., three male student athletes were approached on Howth Street near City College by two suspects who asked if they had drugs for sale. They proceeded to rob the students at gunpoint and made them look away before making their escape.

Two days later, on April 6 at approximately 11 a.m., two male students were held up at gunpoint by two suspects in the men’s locker room at the Wellness Center. The students were asked if they had marijuana for sale, and then told to give up their phones and money. The students were then ordered to turn away and wait five minutes while the suspects got away.

“This is a very safe campus and 99 percent of our students go in and out without issues,” Chief of Police Andre Barnes said. “At this point the two robberies appear to be similar. The weapons were different, so there is a possibility that they are connected but nothing is confirmed.”

Campus police and administration have met and discussed the implementation of additional safety measures around the Wellness Center. Patrols have also been beefed up in an attempt to be more visible and “the administration is also trying to secure the locker rooms and close them down at certain times of less than high usage during the day,” Barnes said.

A crime alert bulletin has been posted around the Wellness Center by City College campus police. As of now, the posted bulletin is the only security enhancement that has been put into effect at City College. Students can find three to four of these bulletins posted on both main entrances to the Wellness Center.

“We’ve put up new signs to try to limit behavior,” Goldstein said. “We need to reign things back in so that we can extend freedom once more.” He did not elaborate on what he meant.

Board of Trustees student representative William Walker said that the measures taken thus far have not been effective.

“You can’t put a bulletin on poles and expect the campus to be safer,” Williams said.

The three incidents are still under investigation. Information regarding the names of the suspects and victims was not readily available from the San Francisco Police Department.

The City College campus police station is located in Cloud Hall in room 119. The office’s telephone can be reached from 5:30 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. at (415) 239-3200.

For further inquiries, the City College campus police can be reached via e-mail at police@ccsf.edu. For safety tips log on to www.ccsf.edu/police.

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