COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Ohio State University has released a neighborhood safety notice involving two alleged robberies, one involving a carjacking and the second involving a sexual assault near campus this weekend.
Police say two OSU students were standing in a parking lot near Indianola Avenue and E. Woodruff Avenue around 11 p.m. Saturday when several suspects got out of a white SUV and approached the victims. The suspects allegedly showed their weapons and demanded the victims’ belongings, according to police.
One suspect got in the victims’ running car and drove away while the other suspects drove off in the white SUV, officers say. According to the police, no one was injured.
On Sunday, around 3 a.m., Columbus police say an OSU student was walking along Tuller Street and Lane Avenue when two suspects knocked the victim to the ground and stole the victim’s belongings. Officers say the suspect allegedly sexually assaulted the victim before fleeing. The victim was transported to a local hospital with unknown injuries, police say.
Police said they do not believe the crimes to be related.
Ohio State University students said these campus safety alerts are something they take rather seriously, especially knowing crime is far more rampant during the start of the semester.
“Sometimes it’s a bit scary, but it also keeps me aware, you know, to keep in mind that I might have to keep my eye out, you know what I mean?” said junior Jack Gale.
“Especially living off-campus, like right over here on 15th, like seeing how close it is to you necessarily sometimes, it kind of keeps you like aware and like, alert to like, stuff is happening to be safe,” said sophomore Ben Martin. “Walking around in groups and stuff like that, and not being out all hours of the night.”
OSU sophomore Jenna Cleland said she’s well aware of her safety while walking on and off campus.
“Definitely stay with groups,” she said. “Don’t, if you can help it, try not to walk by yourself at night.”
Any information about either crime is to be reported to the Columbus Division of Police at 614-645-4545 or the Sexual Assault Unit at 614-645-4701.