Security concerns heightened after Arboretum robbery and assaults Crime, News

Police are investigating following a robbery and two assaults in the Humber Arboretum Thursday March 2 2017 (Flickr/ Eugene Zemlyanskiy)

By: Linda Huynh

A red and white safety alert posted at entrances across Humber College North campus is alerting the community to two separate incidents involving a robbery and assault that occurred Thursday in the Arboretum.

Two male students were robbed and assaulted off campus approximately a minute apart. Rob Kilfoyle, Director of Public Safety and Emergency Management, says the incidents happened on the bridge in the Arboretum behind the college’s residence.

Kilfoyle says the first student was walking across the bridge when he was approached by five male suspects who allegedly assaulted and then robbed him of his wallet. Moments later the group then ran after a second student who had been walking a few metres behind, and witnessed the initial assault.  After a brief altercation the suspects took off towards a residential area.

Both students were taken to the medical center where their injuries weren’t considered serious. “Although not seriously harmed, I’m sure they are both emotionally shaken up,” Kilfoyle said. Following this the two students reported the incident to Public Safety where they then contacted Toronto Police. The investigation is ongoing.

While this is the second security notice posted around campus since the school year has begun, it’s nothing new for current students and alumni.

“The first thing they told me when I moved into res my first year was to never walk the Arb alone at night,” said Brittani Morrison, a Fitness and Health graduate of the college. Morrison lives in student housing off campus and said she feels uneasy in the neighbourhood compared to her home in Windsor.

Last November a man was shot and killed at Alba place, a five minute walk away from Morrison’s house. “I was walking to my boyfriend’s house at the time where a police officer asked me to turn around because it was not safe,” Morrison said.

She didn’t find out until later that the shooting occurred and a suspect was loose and armed. “It didn’t hit me until I was home but this police officer literally let me walk home alone at night with some guy loose with a shotgun,” Morrison said.

Alex Taalman also says he has felt unsafe around campus. Currently in his second year in residence, the second-year Sports Management student says he always has that feeling in the back of his head that he’s not safe in the Arboretum.

“I feel like it’s risky. There is definitely that fear of walking through the Arb and not feeling safe. Many people are always warning you about what could happen in there and now those precautions need to be taken while walking through,” he said. Taalman uses the Arboretum paths at least once every week because of the convenience since it’s faster to walk through to get to the Woodbine Mall.

Public Safety offers students 24-hour resources including campus walk, emergency code blue phones across campus, 24 hour security patrols, Humber Alert emergency notifications and the Humber Guardian app.

Pubic Safety is asking anyone with information about Thursday’s incidents to contact police at 416-808-2222.

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