Sep. 8, 2016
University of Memphis police are investigating a report of an armed robbery that took place on the on the football fields off of Southern Avenue on Aug. 21, an event that police say is an extremely rare event on campus.
Willis Fosterhe and four of his friends, were throwing a football on the intramural soccer field around 5 p.m. when they saw a man jump the fence and approach their belongings on the bleachers.
“I remember just playing football and being watched by a guy,” said Willis. “He wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary, but after 10 minutes we noticed he was going through our stuff. When one of your friends confronted him, he pulled out a gun and we all ran.”
Willis approached the man after seeing him go through he and his friends belongings.
The 5 foot 10 inch suspect then robbed Foster and his friends at gun point; taking their wallet and Iphones that were laying on the bleachers. The man immediately left the scene after the incident. The suspect was described as having a darker complexion and wearing a white shirt and black Adidas shorts.
Although Willis said that the incident scared him, he still feels relatively safe on the U of M’s campus.
“Yes, I feel safe walking around campus. Especially if there are other people around walking as well,” said Willis. “I’m a confident individual, and I feel like I can hold my own. That makes me feel safe.”
Interim Chief of Police Derek Myers said, on campus crime rates have remained low for the last few years with very little changes up or down. However, he acknowledges that their has been an increase in burglaries in the past year.
The annual campus security and fire safety report states that on campus burglaries rose from 18 total reports in 2013 to 38 reports in 2014.
“The burglaries are up slightly this year. However, on campus robberies are rare, and we have seen no change in the numbers for the year,” said Myers. “The majority, 70 percent or more, of the suspects that we identify for any crime are not students.”
When it comes to students safety, Police Chief Myers suggest that students stick together whenever possible.
“We always suggest walking in groups or using the Tiger Escort program in the evening,” Myers said. “Especially later in the evening when fewer people are walking around campus.”