A student attacked and beat two other students as they walked north on University Avenue between 58th and 57th Streets at 1:45 a.m. Thursday. The victims, both third-year students in the College, were traveling to the Maroon Market to purchase coffee before its 2 a.m. closing.
As the pair walked passed the Alpha Delta Theta fraternity house, an intoxicated student called out obscenities from its front porch, and then chased after the victims. The assailant, brandishing a clenched fist, pushed one student until he fell to the ground, then struck the other student repeatedly on the head and face before fleeing on foot.
The victims proceeded across the Main Quadrangles to their residence hall, Snell-Hitchcock Quadrangle, where a resident head and University police officers were summoned.
The victims were rushed to the University hospital, where one received staples to treat a lacerated scalp. The other victim, who suffered minor cuts and bruises to his arms and hands, was checked for a concussion and found to be in stable condition.
University and city police officers identified the alleged assailant as a second-year in the College who lives in Shoreland Hall.
The victims, who declined to be named or interviewed due to pending litigation, have not yet pressed criminal charges. Without criminal charges, police officers were not able to enter the Shoreland to question the assailant.
“Whenever, if at all possible, when the police come to a residence hall, our residence staff will cooperate with the police to get the student to an office outside of the house community,” said Katie Callow-Wright, assistant dean of students in the University and director of the University House System.
The student, who is set to meet with dean of students Susan Art today, declined comment until after his meeting.
The incident is being regarded as a random act of violence. Neither of the victims had spoken with the attacker prior to the incident, taken classes with him, or seen him before.
Friends of the victims are trying to make sense of the incident. “I still feel safe at the U of C. This guy is definitely a fluke,” said Margarita Zaydman, a first-year in the College. “There are a lot of parties at the U of C, but the rest of us somehow manage not to beat anyone up.”
“Personally, I was very disturbed by this incident, [but] I’m inclined to believe it’s more of an isolated incident rather than a massive problem on campus,” said Scott Weese, also a first-year in the College.
Now the victims must decide how they would like to proceed. According to Callow-Wright, incidents like these are handled by the dean of students and a disciplinary committee. “The dean of students will typically be involved to some degree, but if students who’ve been attacked don’t want to file any charges, the dean of students won’t push to have the victims go through a disciplinary process that they don’t want to go through,” Callow-Wright said.