Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

No DPS Report of Robbery

The Department of Public Safety did not report a robbery at gunpoint that took place five blocks from campus last month to the campus community.

On Sept. 25 at about 1:22 a.m., the suspect approached the two 22-year-old men while they were walking on N Street, pointed a gun at them and demanded they hand over their wallets and phones. Both men, who were not Georgetown students, complied.

The suspect then instructed them to lie on the ground and wait 30 seconds before moving. By the time the pair had counted to 30, the suspect had fled in an unknown direction.

The suspect was described as a Hispanic male in his 20s, approximately 5-foot-9 or 5-foot-10 with a slender build. He was armed with a black handgun.

According to Director of Media Relations Rachel Pugh, the campus did not receive a PSA about the incident because DPS felt that it did not pose a threat to the campus community.

The Department of Public Safety website states that public safety alerts are issued when an incident is reported to DPS or the Metropolitan Police Department that the university feels poses a serious danger or continuing threat to the campus community.

In the past, PSAs have included burglaries, thefts and threatened assaults both on and off campus.

On March 29, The Hoya reported that DPS had sent out a PSA regarding a man who was robbed at gunpoint and physically assaulted in Burleith. The victim had no affiliation with the university, though he was treated for minor injuries at the Georgetown University Hospital.

In a similar incident on April 17, DPS alerted the campus that a woman who was not a member of the Georgetown community was robbed at knifepoint while walking on 35th Street.

But according to Pugh, the September robbery did not qualify as a threat to students, faculty or staff.

“Crimes that occur off campus and are not considered a threat to the safety of the university community do not warrant a campus PSA,” she wrote in an email.

Some students said that they thought they should have been alerted about the incident.

“I think it’s definitely a mistake not to send an email, because I think students have a right to know what’s happening near campus with public safety, especially with something that serious,” MaryToscano (COL ’14) said.

Leo Garzon (GRD ’13) added that he thought DPS should establish clearer guidelines regarding PSAs.

“I don’t feel this situation was necessarily handled poorly, but they need clear rules to decide when [PSAs] get sent out,” he said.

Representatives of the Department of Public Safety did not respond to requests for comment.

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