Student assaulted off campus
HSU students receive notification after month-long delay
At 10:56 p.m. on Aug. 26, an unidentified Humboldt State University student reported to Arcata and University Police that they had been stabbed and assaulted at the G Street Shell gas station by someone who appeared to be a transient.
The 18-year old male student told Arcata police that he was returning to campus, where he resides, when he saw a man walking towards him waving his arms and carrying what appeared to be a knife.
According to Arcata Police Chief Brian Ahearn, the student then defensively reached out both of his arms to prevent himself from being attacked and sustained a 2 inch long laceration to his left arm from the knife that the suspect was holding.
Following the attack, the student ran back to HSU’s Jolly Giant Commons along the U.S. Highway 101 pedestrian overpass, where Ahearn confirmed blood droplets from the student were located by APD during their investigation.
Once at the Jolly Giant Commons, the student contacted friends who met him and accompanied him as he called campus and Arcata PD, both of which responded. Following police contact, the student was transported to Mad River Community Hospital and received treatment, and was released later that night.
The suspect was described by the victim as a white adult male, 5-foot-7-inch with a 4 inch long blonde beard, brown hat with earmuffs, thick dark-colored coat, baggy jeans and brown boots.
At this time neither Arcata nor University police have any further leads on the crime and the suspect remains at large. They invite anyone in the community to contact them if they have any further knowledge of the crime.
Students were not made aware of the assault at the time of its occurrence, instead received an email more than a month after the assault occurred. When HSU finally did notify students regarding the incident on Sept. 27, many felt it was too late, and irresponsible to not have informed students of potential danger.
“I definitely feel that we should have been notified way before the school chose to do so,” HSU senior, Kelsey Briscoe said. “I didn’t even know about this. They should’ve informed students when the incident first occurred. It seems like the university didn’t take this incident as a threat, but a student was injured by a knife, that seems like a threat to student safety to me.”
Although the incident occurred off campus, many in the HSU community feel that it is the burden of the university to ensure that all students be notified any time there is a risk for danger or injury in the area surrounding the university. More so, since the suspect at this time has not been caught and could be active in the locale
“Whether it be an email or an HSU alert, I feel like we should have known as soon as possible when the incident happened,” HSU student Davina Hernandez said. “How can they just determine for us that there is no threat, and how can they know this wasn’t racially motivated if they don’t have a suspect and no leads?”