Every time I get a crime alert, I’m reminded of how scary the campus area is.
In fact, I’ve seen it for myself.
I had spent July 6 on the Oval playing frisbee and catch with two friends. After hanging out for a bit at a friend’s apartment on Chittenden Avenue, another friend and I headed home around 10 p.m.
We were walking north on Indianola Avenue when two men came out of the bushes and stopped us at the corner of 16th Avenue. They asked us if we had any spare change, but before we could answer, they pulled out guns, told us to get on the ground and give them everything we had.
They stopped us right there on a sidewalk on Indianola, where anyone driving by could have seen these guys pointing guns at us while we were on the ground. They were lucky nobody saw them.
After they got our belongings, they ran to a car parked behind the bushes and sped off. I tried to get a license plate number but they were going too fast for me to catch it.
We were lucky we weren’t hurt. After seeing what happened to Aaron Peacock, the student who was assaulted Sunday near 18th Avenue and Summit Street, I consider myself thankful that the men who mugged us were content with our possessions.
I was carrying my bookbag with me that night. My wallet, iPhone, house keys, a baseball glove, Bose headphones and my voice recorder were inside. My friend lost his wallet, keys and phone.
It was a mess. Like I said, I’m very grateful that I wasn’t injured, but losing all of my belongings turned into a hassle. For example, none of my roommates were home that night after we had finished speaking to the Columbus police officer, and since I had no keys, I had to hope my girlfriend at the time was at her apartment (which she was, thankfully) so I could attempt to get a hold of my roommates to let me in.
It’s also a huge pain to try to recover your identity when basically every form of documentation you have that legally identifies you is stolen.
After getting a new crime alert seemingly every day from Ohio State police, I can’t help but identify with these people. Crime is a major problem in the campus area, and it needs to stop.
After all, what parent would want to send their child to a school where this happens?
The off-campus areas need to be better lit. Students shouldn’t have to worry about walking home in groups or planning their routes to and from campus based on which roads are more visible than others.
Police need to make a more concerted effort to find these people, as well. I understand the need to patrol for underage drinkers, but I can’t help but feel as if it should be more of a priority to patrol the area for low-lives who have no issue beating people to a pulp for a cell phone and a debit card.
The campus area should be a nice place. This is one of the largest universities in the country, and there’s no reason the area around it should be as shady as it is. If there’s any silver lining in these repeated attacks, hopefully it will be a call to action to see that this place gets cleaned up.