By Christian Bailey, The Whetstone
As Ha Yeon Joung and her friend Wenjing Xie walked just one block from campus to the Grocery Basket, their trip back suddenly became a nightmare.
“Someone came out of a bush and told us, ‘Take everything out of your wallet’,” said Joung.
“He threatened us with what seemed like a weapon in his hand,” she said.
Despite the reported decrease in campus crime, theft remains a problem at Wesley.
Lucky for Joung and Xie, a bystander saw what happened and called Dover Police.
“Thankfully, someone had seen what was happening and called the police for us,” she said. “The police came very quickly. The person was caught on video and was later arrested.”
Wesley security guard Lloyd Stafford, who was patrolling at the time, reported the incident.
“We were quite terrified at the moment, but we are glad we are safe” Joung said.
There were 14 thefts reported to Wesley Security from Aug. 2017- Feb. 2018; 13 cases remain open.
“It makes me wonder,” said freshman Rocher Hopkins. “I know it is hard to monitor everybody all at once, but I expected to be safe in college.”
After Joung’s terrifying experience, Director of International Programs Rebecca Schroding reached out to the girls and made sure they were OK.
“We were really grateful that someone cares,” Joung said.
Senior Jamor Thompson was almost robbed his freshman year.
Thompson was in the South Plaza on a Friday night when a group of young men who seemed like Wesley students approached him.
They hung out with Thompson for a while, then they later invited him to a “party” across the street from the school.
“Me being a freshman and not knowing anybody, I went and I later realized they weren’t students,” Thompson said.
The guys circled around Thompson and pulled out a Taser and told him to give them his shoes and his hat. He fled from the house, but his Brooklyn Nets hat ended up flying off his head.
“I ran back to campus, but I fell and cut my hand really bad,” he said. “Lindsey [another Wesley student] took me to her room and wrapped my hand for me.”
A couple of weeks later, Thompson saw one of the men with his hat on near campus and he asked for it back. The man approached him with a group of guys, one armed.
“He threw the hat on the ground in front of me,” Thompson said, “and asked me, ‘Do you know how many hats are out here, you want to lose your life over a hat?’”
Angie Fowler, a Wesley security guard, saw the incident and invited Thompson to come report the incident but he refused.
Senior Jason Showers was aware of what happened to Thompson. He felt he should have reported the incident.
“If he’s getting robbed, someone else could get robbed,” he said. “Reporting the crime helps to save others from future dangers.”
Knowing that so many of the theft cases remains open worries students.
“We don’t know who is behind this stuff,” Showers said. “It could be people that I’m around all the time.”
Hopkins, a Dover native, said she has never faced any personal attacks.
“I don’t know what I would do if I was in a situation like the other students, but I try my best to avoid being in that kind of situation,” she said.
Students take safety precautions to avoid any potential threats to their safety.
“I don’t use my phone when I’m walking alone,” Showers said. “I lock my door, close my windows and try not to walk around at night.”
Hopkins does the same.
“I always lock my door, and I never walk alone,” she said. “You just don’t what can happen when you’re by yourself.”
Some students say some situations can be avoided if the campus was closed and Security patrolled more.
“It’s so free on campus, outside people can just walk through here,” Thompson said. “They hang near the dorms and everything. They need gates or something and Security should be watching all the time, not just every hour.”
“I think the college should be gated off,” he said. “I think that will help eliminate some of the issues, especially at night.”