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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City officials confirmed an assault and attempted robbery took place at approximately 7:22pm on Sunday, November 9, in the city’s Second Ward.
Sources in the community said the incident occurred where a streetlight is out on Lee Avenue between Baldwin and Hale Streets.
But no press release or public crime alert was issued by New Brunswick’s or Rutgers University’s respective police departments, perhaps because this crime was not as close to Rutgers as other recent incidents, and did not involve a Rutgers student or employee.
The details of the assault and robbery only came in response to questions from this newspaper, based upon police radio transmissions.
“The victim was assaulted, resulting in minor injuries,” said city spokesperson Jennifer Bradshaw, filling in for Captain JT Miller, the department’s usual spokesperson.
Bradshaw said she got her information from Detective Mark Pappas.
Bradshaw said the suspects were described as being in their early teens, and as “four young black males who attempted to take belongings from the victim’s pockets, but there was nothing to take.”
According to police transmissions, the four suspects fled towards Throop Avenue, and while were all wearing hoodies, one was wearing a white hat.
According to Bradshaw, the victim is a 22-year-old New Brunswick resident, who sustained minor injuries, was treated on scene and not taken to the hospital. No arrests have been announced.
“The investigation is ongoing,” said Bradshaw.
The site of the crime is roughly half a mile from the nearest Rutgers University campus property.
Two recent robberies in the Hamilton Street area generated public crime alerts broadcast this weekend by the Rutgers University Police Department, as part of a new expanded alert system implemented after criticism earlier this year.
As New Brunswick Today has reported, it does not appear the university always follows its policy to alert the community to “serious” crimes in the Fifth and Sixth Wards of New Brunswick.
An article published last week accused the university of failing to report a robbery on College Avenue, a home burglary on Delafield Street, reports of men breaking into cars on Hamilton Street, and reports of two men knocked out in apparent assaults, all in the same night.
Since then, Rutgers officials haven’t provided an explanation for why many of the serious crimes described in police transmissions on the evening of October 31 went unreported to the university community, or why an “ambulance bus” was needed to handle at least 40 reported cases of alcohol overdoses that night.
Earlier today, Rutgers responded to NBToday for the first time in over a week, following an email from this newspaper to University President Bob Barchi’s Office.
“Rutgers University tries very hard to be responsive to responsible media inquiries. However, it is not our job to run down every rumor heard on a scanner, or to pass judgment on the decisions of institutions outside the university,” wrote spokesperons Greg Trevor.
“Rutgers University also takes seriously its responsibility to keep our students informed of potentially dangerous incidents; we do our best to make students aware of serious crimes when they occur and to investigate allegations of incidents when they are reported to the Department of Public Safety.”
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.