Courtesy of Scott Peacock
The latest in a series of crimes near Ohio State’s campus has left one OSU student severely beaten and hospitalized.
Aaron Peacock, a third-year in criminology, and Bryan Glivar, a third-year in mechanical engineering, were walking to a friend’s house early Sunday morning when they were stopped by two black males on 18th Avenue between Summit Street and Fourth Street, according to Peacock.
The incident occurred at 3:45 a.m., according to the Columbus Police report.
“A guy came up and said, ‘Give me a high-five,’ and I ignored him and as soon as I walked past him, he turned around and cold clocked me in the face,” Peacock said. “Him and another black male started attacking me while I was laying on the ground.”
At this point, Peacock said that Glivar ran to get help from the house they were going to.
“(Glivar) brought out about five of our friends, and by the time they came out it had been about 20 seconds, and the two guys who were attacking me had gotten in a car with someone else and taken off in a red Tahoe,” Peacock said.
OSU police sent out a Crime Alert email informing students of the incident Sunday evening. This was the fourth Crime Alert sent out in the past two weeks.
Unlike the previous attacks, the assailants did not demand money or draw a weapon, although they did take the victim’s wallet, phone and keys, according to the police report.
The victim’s father, Scott Peacock, a retired police officer himself, shared his thoughts on the incident.
“I think that this is a gang initiation because they will randomly pick somebody to attack, because Aaron said they didn’t say anything to him about giving his money, and all they did was beat him and still to beat him when he was down, and they would have continued to do so and probably would have killed him if his friends hadn’t come back,” Scott Peacock said.
Aaron Peacock said that during the attack he did not resist, and covered his face with his hands while they kicked and punched him. He suffered multiple fractures in his face including his orbital, a broken nose, a lacerated spleen and a bruised pancreas, Aaron Peacock said.
According to his father, Aaron Peacock will be in the hospital for at least two more days on complete bed rest and may require facial surgery.
The retired police officer offered the following advice to college students:
“I don’t want kids to stop their college life and they shouldn’t, but they need to go in groups and stay in groups,” Scott Peacock said. “Don’t venture off down the sidewalk 10 or 15 feet, just stay in groups and don’t go out at 3 in the morning, especially in the worse neighborhoods.”
OSU Police Captain Dave Rose said that despite the rash of crimes, there has not necessarily been an increase in criminal activity.
“There is nothing specifically, in terms of a pattern that we understand, that is out of the norm,” Rose said. “From our understanding, the crime rate is not higher than normal, but certainly the recent crimes are a cause for concern.”
Rose said the difference between this year and prior years is that people are much more informed.
“With the Timely Warning system, there is a difference in the way we are putting those warnings out this year,” Rose said. “They go to everybody in the OSU system so now there are going to be a lot more people with a much better awareness of these types of crimes.”
The OSU Police Department has introduced various measures to increase its effectiveness, such as increasing police presence and communication with the Columbus Police Department, Rose said.
“This quarter we are running a crime interdiction program, so we do have extra officers working the street right now for that purpose,” Rose said. “We also have a joint patrol, which is a police officer that we pair with a Columbus police officer so that we can work with them and collaborate better.”
Rose said the best thing students can do is to be proactive about their safety and plan ahead.
Yet some students feel as though more can be done to prevent crimes in the future.
Michael Dworkin, a fourth-year in mathematics, started a petition to increase student safety.
“The petition started a couple days ago when I was notified for the umpteenth time about these robberies around campus,” Dworkin said. “I’m just kind of fed up with it and I’m surprised that nobody has taken a real issue with it.”
The petition calls for OSU to step-up the measures taken to protect students.
“For example, OSU has a safety shuttle service that runs until 3 a.m. where you can get a ride, and I was a little surprised because most other schools that I have looked at have similar services but they run them until around 6 a.m.,” Dworkin said. “That makes a lot more sense because you will see that most of these robberies occur after 3 in the morning and that is a time that OSU is not doing anything extra — extra being besides standard policing, to protect its students.”
Others are unsure of how OSU could do more to aid in the prevention of these crimes.
Victoria Waring, a second-year in actuarial science, said that the recent incidents have left her scared, and more cautious than ever.
“I won’t walk alone at all when it’s dark and I try to take the campus buses or even the COTA buses when I can,” Waring said. “I know OSU has an escort service and I don’t know why more people don’t take advantage of it when they are out at night. I don’t know if OSU can do anything else. I think they are trying as hard as they can.”