Four students assaulted near Sadler Center

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April 14, 2009

5:21 AM

At approximately 1:40 a.m. Sunday morning, three individuals assaulted and attempted to rob four College of William and Mary students outside of the Sadler Center. One assailant allegedly struck Ed Ahn ’11, Andy Henderson ’10 and Eric Rydin ’10 and shoved Alex Moore ’09.

The students involved declined medical treatment after the incident.

Two groups of students were converging on the Sadler Center terrace when a car carrying the three assailants pulled up near the terrace, allegedly almost hitting a student in the group, according to eyewitnesses. Maya Horowitz ’10, who witnessed the event, said that two passengers exited the car and one began yelling racial epithets at the group of students.

“It wasn’t clear what he was yelling. It almost sounded like he knew us,” Rydin said. “So we yelled ‘Hey. What’s up?’ back. He then got out and pretty aggressively started pushing us and was in our faces saying nonsensical things like ‘What’s good?’”

According to eyewitnesses, Michael Harrison ’12 walked by the terrace, heard the assailant yelling racial slurs and attempted to mediate the conflict. The assailant then allegedly showed Harrison a gun hidden in the waistband of his pants.

Harrison declined to comment for this story.

The students tried to walk away from the two men, but the assailants followed the group toward the Daily Grind. One assailant continued to verbally assault the group and threw a chair from outside of the Grind at the students. At this point, the assailant began hitting people in the face.

Several people called the police while the assailant continued to assault the group.

“The whole point was to just provoke us,” Horowitz said. “After they found out that they weren’t going to get us to hit them, they started hitting us. They were shoving everyone and followed us down the path through the lodges.”

As soon as the police arrived, the assailants fled the scene.

Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Ginger Ambler ’88 Ph.D. ’06 sent an e-mail about the incident to the College community Monday evening.

“While an incident like this is not common at William and Mary, it does serve as a powerful reminder of the need for vigilance, particularly late at night,” Ambler said in the e-mail.

While Ambler’s e-mail cited attempted robbery, eyewitnesses reported that assault and intimidation appeared to be the crime’s primary motives. According to Henderson, one of the assailants picked up a student’s bag containing Wawa food, but later relinquished it.

The investigation of the incident is still ongoing, and the William and Mary Police Department has contacted several of the victims.

According to Henderson, Rydin has been asked to describe the assailants to a sketch artist.

The police also took the chair from the Grind to check for fingerprints.

The police department could not be reached for comment.

“I guess every year you always see those one or two e-mails that let you know that this isn’t obviously a perfect impenetrable campus,” Rydin said. “It has made me a little more wary of traveling places alone. I can’t imagine what would have happened if this had happened to just two people walking back from Wawa.”

According to Henderson, one of the responding officers said that there has been a recent influx of on-campus incidents similar to the assault.

College Spokesman Brian Whitson had no information on any other incidents at the time of publication.

Campus Police have already started informing the College community of the incident.

Four officers presented campus safety tips at the regular meeting of Kappa Delta Sorority Monday and mentioned the incident to the group.

“They came to talk to us about keeping safe on campus,” Emily Miller ’11, a member of Kappa Delta, said.
“They talked about some people who didn’t go to school here following some students and eventually fighting with them, just telling us to be careful.”

_Editor’s Note: Andy Henderson ’10 is The Flat Hat Editorial Writer and Maya Horowitz ’10 is The Flat Hat Sex Columnist._

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