Safer Sex night was not so safe for one Oberlin student this year. In the early morning hours of this past Friday, junior LeMont Bennett was the victim of a robbery outside of the 'Sco. Bennett was robbed of a cellular phone by an armed man who has yet to be positively identified.
After the festivities ended on Safer Sex night, Bennett and first-year Patricia Ngnoumen were standing outside with other students. A young black man approached Bennett and asked if he could borrow his cellular phone. Bennett assumed the man was a prospective student and handed over the phone. The man made a local phone call, spoke for a while, and then began to walk away with the phone.
When Bennett tried to restrain the man in order to retrieve his phone, the man swung at him. He then lifted his shirt to display a pistol tucked into the waistband of his pants. After threatening Bennett verbally, the man ran away with the phone.
Security arrived promptly on the scene and took statements from Bennett and Ngnoumen.
Keith James, head of Safety and Security, said "We weren't aware that [Safer Sex night] would be such a big event this year. But I feel we had appropriate staffing for that night."
Bennett's attack comes on the heels of two other recent incidents on campus. In the past week, a man was accosted by a person pretending to be a police officer. He identified himself as an undercover officer looking for underage drinkers, and proceeded to badger the student about whether he had been consuming alcohol. The student asked to see identification, but the man could only produce a cloth police patch. After his cover was foiled, the man drove away, leaving the student alone.
In an unrelated incident, a student walking late at night was grabbed from behind by an unknown assailant. She managed to escape.
In both cases there were no serious injuries, but Oberlin Safety and Security felt uneasy enough to post signs around campus describing the incidents and suggesting safety tips.
Copyright © 1999, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 128, Number 8, November 5, 1999
Contact us with your comments and suggestions.