A fourth-year female WCU student was assaulted and robbed on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at approximately 9:30 p.m between Price and Sharpless Streets on Church Street and was unable to contact public safety through a campus emergency station.The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that she was walking home from her friend’s house, which was located on Miner Street, and took Church Street to walk home. She was coming home from her birthday dinner.
She had received a phone call and at that point noticed someone walking behind her. The student said that she would not have answered her phone had it not been from a long-distance friend living in France.
The WCU student turned aroundand was told: “Stop (expletive) looking at me; I’m not following you.”
At that point, the student began walking toward the middle of the street and quickened her pace. The woman behind her did not change pace. The student slowed down as did the other woman. Not too long after, the student was allegedly hit on the head with an object and was knocked to the ground.
“I know it wasn’t a fist,” the student said.
When the student re-gained cognizance, she looked up and saw that the woman had took her purse and ran south on Church Street.
The student describes the woman as an African American young-looking woman approximately 5 feet 6 or 5 feet 7 wearing a baby blue or grey jacket.
“She looked like a college student,” the student said. “She didn’t look suspicious at all.”
Shortly afterwards, the student ran towards the intersection of Church Street and Rosedale Avenue screaming for help.
Five cars had passed by, according to the student, and no one stopped.
“I was in a panic,” the WCU student said.
The student then ran to the emergency safety light located at the corner of Church and Sharpless Streets by the parking garage and began pushing the red button “frantically.” She said that no voice responded.
“I ran to the blue light for a reason-I was taught that I had to run to that light,” the student said.
Then, the WCU student found public safety officers and went to the office located in the People’s Building to tell her story. Afterwards, she was taken to the West Chester Borough Police Station.
The student did not understand why the emergency station yielded no response. Each station is equipped with a security camera.
“Why didn’t they see me?” she said.
The student said she returned to her residence hall at approximately midnight, but stayed at friend’s instead.
“I didn’t feel safe,” the student said.
The student’s purse held credit cards, her ID and her key to her residence hall.
The student cancelled all of her credit cards at this point, but according to the WCU student, she has to pay $30 to have her residence hall locks changed and $15 for a new ID.
On Thursday, Nov. 8, she and her parents went to the same emergency safety light on Sharpless Street. She and her father pressed the red button and waited eight minutes receiving no response.
Afterwards, she went to the Wellness Center and spoke about the malfunctioning light.
One of the employees made a phone call to a university official to ask to have the light fixed
“It turns out it didn’t work the whole time,” the student said. “It was horrible.”
The student did not have any other injuries aside from a bruise on the back of her head from the blow of the blunt object.
“I’ve never been mugged or assaulted before, but there’s no reason that light shouldn’t have been working,” the student said.
“It doesn’t matter where you are,” the WCU student said, “Don’t walk home alone at night.”
Safety alerts on the assault and robbery have been sent from Chief Michael Bicking, who was unavailable for an interview, to the WCU community.
Nicole Fortuna is a second-year student of the Honors College majoring in English with a minor in linguistics. She can be reached at NF626790@wcupa.edu.