When it comes to crime on campus, most students have no choice but to go for an emergency box and wait for the police to show up. However, on November 29, instead of waiting for the cavalry to show up, psychology senior David Williams took matters into his own hands and detained a robber after walking out of his physio-psychology class.
“As I walked out, I saw two females running towards the emergency call box, and since I’m trained in first-aid I asked what was going on to see if I could help,” said Williams. “They told me that their friend that was in their class had just gotten robbed just right outside of the Science Building Annex.”
Williams said that he was told that two males had robbed the fiend of the two women. However, instead of waiting for police to show up, Williams took matters into his own hands and pursued the suspects.
After running around the area looking for the suspects, Williams circled around White Hall when he caught a glimpse of some people running down the street past the Theta Xi house.
Williams then proceeded to the Theta Xi house asking a member of the fraternity for help. The fraternity member offered Williams a ride in his pickup truck, and the two resumed searching for the suspects, who had by now gained a considerable lead on their pursuers.
After going a block without finding the suspects, Williams and the Theta Xi member started to head back to campus. However, on the way back, Williams spotted the two suspects and immediately continued the pursuit. After heading into the neighborhood past the railroad tracks south of Southeastern, Williams caught up with the two suspects and jumped out of the pickup truck while it was still moving and started running on foot.
“I saw one of the suspects in a fenced-in yard with a waist-high wrought iron fence,” said Williams. “I told him to stop and get on the ground, and he continued to run from me, so I jumped the fence and continued to pursue him.”
Williams was able to identify one of the suspects, saying that he was at least 6’4″ weighing at least 180 to 190 pounds, however identification was not why Williams was there.
Williams continued to chase the single suspect around the yard until he ran around a large oak tree. Once Williams had the man cornered, the man raised his arms ready to fight, so Williams countered.
“As soon as his arms came to close to me, his left arm was the closest, i grabbed it and I threw him to the ground face first under the oak tree and i sat on his back and pulled the other arm behind and held him there,” said Williams. “I told him not to resist and that for the guy who got robbed to call Hammond PD.”
The other suspect who witnessed Williams take down his friend assumed that Williams was a police officer and returned the stolen property and fled on foot. Hammond Police arrived soon afterwards and Williams turned him over to their custody. Afterwards, Hammond Police transferred the suspect over to Southeastern Police since the incident occurred in their jurisdiction.
University Police Department Lt. Patrick Gipson confirmed that a student aided in catching the first suspect and that the second one was caught the following day at an off-campus location by Hammond Police and Southeastern Police.
“We always appreciate the help of any member of the community,” said Lt. Gipson. “It takes the work of everyone to keep community safe, but what this student did was beyond what we could ever expect. His actions helped get two danger felons off of our campus and keep everyone else safe, too.”