West Campus student threatened with firearm

INCIDENT IS THE FIRST REPORTED THIS YEAR, OFFICIALS SAY

By Trey McConnell/Devin Heflin
Valencia Voice

A student walking to his car on West Campus Sept. 16 was approached by two males asking him for the time. When he looked up to relay the information a gun was pointed at him while one assailant demanded, “We’re taking your property.”

The victim, who remains unidentified, told cops he was walking to his car, which was between parking lot F and G, at approximately 2:02 pm when he was set upon by two unidentified, black males.

WEST CAMPUS ROBBERY
WEST CAMPUS ROBBERY

A witness recognized the confrontation as the robbers laid claim to the victim’s cell phone and laptop which was being carried on his person. They then fled on foot over the grass embankment toward the apartment complex which neighbors the campus, with one of the suspects discharging his weapon once into the air.

The victim immediately called the Orlando Police Department with the witnesses’ cell phone. The interesting facet of the case is that the officer who patrols the lots went off duty at 2:00 pm. The robbery occurred approximately two minutes after the officer’s shift ended.

Fortunately, there was an officer waiting at the Raleigh and Kirkman light who responded to the call. OPD’s routine at this point is to alert Valencia that there has been an officer called to campus.

Thomas Lopez, Assistant Vice President of Risk Management

“Security was not even notified when this happened. We are supposed to get a call from the agency and we didn’t receive one this time which is very unusual” said, Thomas Lopez, Assistant Vice President of Risk Management.

Lopez is in liaison with a company which is responsible for security on all campuses but is housed exclusively at the West Campus.

Campus security attempted to draw up their own conclusions as to why their response to the situation was a bit more laggard than expected. When they gained light of the incident they immediately sent an e-mail to all students and faculty alerting them of what happened.

“Our first response was to be diligent but most importantly to be visible,” said Lopez. “Our first instinct was to gather the troops, I mean we aren’t an armed service but police officer’s get shot at and that’s why they hold guns.”

Research indicates that no robberies by force were accounted for since 2007. Security reports most of their offenses are from students leaving their personal belongings around for people to pick up and never return to the lost and found services.

“Valencia is one of the safest educational facilities; for this to happen here in the middle of the day is crazy. There’s 14,000 enrolled students at West Campus, hopefully one of them can come forward and give us some information,” said Lopez. “We haven’t sat down yet and decided what we can do for next time.”