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Stabbing occurs in Phelps Hall

Last updated: 03/30/11 7:44pm


For the full story, see ‘Woman assaulted in Phelps’

Update(5:12 p.m.): The EMU Police Department released further details about the 11:45 a.m. stabbing that took place this morning in Phelps Hall.

According to a safety notice released by the department,information gathered indicates the victim opened the door to the residence hall room and the suspect then entered.

A struggle ensued when the suspect began to take property from the room. During the struggle, the victim was struck in the head by a fist and injured in the hand by a knife held by a suspect.

The suspect fled the room and took a laptop computer.

Police are continuing to investigate the case.

Initial post(1:33 p.m.):In a RAVE Alert sent out to the campus community, the Eastern Michigan University Police Department said it is currently investigating a reported “minor stabbing” that occurred this morning at 11:45 a.m. in Phelps Hall.

Police Chief Greg O’Dell said although there are few details to release, he can confirm a woman was stabbed.

“She’s not a current student, but we think she is a former one,” O’Dell said.“We’re still trying to gather information, and that’s the most accurate up-to-date info we have.”

EMU Police are currently reviewing surveillance video tapes to gather more information about the suspect.

“We’re obviously all over the area and checking cameras,” O’Dell said.

The suspect is described as a black male in his 20s with a dark complexion, a goatee, and weighing about 200 pounds. The suspect was seen wearing a long-sleeve, royal blue thermal shirt; dark blue jeans; and a gray baseball cap. It is believed he was carrying a mostly white backpack with two vertical royal blue stripes, gray strings and a black bottom.

The alert said he left the building in an unknown direction and is traveling on foot.

Freshman Bethany Houghteling said despite the stabbing she feels just as safe as she did before.

“Those types of things can’t really be prevented,” Houghteling said. “But in my book, a stabbing is a stabbing no matter how severe or ‘minor’ it may be.”

Sophomore Ahmed Al-Hassan echoed Houghteling’s sentiments and said the incident should not be described as minor.

“That’s something that needs to be investigated with a quickness,” he said. “I don’t feel as if I’m directly in danger, but if it happened to them, it can happen to anyone. I won’t be leaving my room unlocked.”

EMU student Sarah Leahy said she was “horrified” the alert was sent out more than an hour after the incident occurred.

“I don’t see the point of having an alert system if we are not “alerted” about an emergency right away,” Leahy said. “If I was in the First Year Center at all, I would have been pissed if I had been walking around there for an hour unaware of what had just happened.”

Leahy said describing the incident as minor is “an insult to the victim.”

“There is no such thing,” she said. “It sounds like they called it that to cover up the fact that it took them so long to make the campus community aware of the incident. Either way, shame on EMU.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact EMU Police at 734-487-1222.

This story will be updated as more information is made available.**

Published Mar 29, 2011

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