Police to investigate attempted robbery

By Estelle Tran

Police are investigating an attempted robbery of a Pitt student Monday night.

Eight young black men began to follow the student down the 300 block of Oakland Avenue at about 9 p.m. and tried to take his bookbag, Pittsburgh Police Sgt. Brian Elledge said. The student said that the suspects tried to rip off his bookbag and demanded money.

“I’m really lucky because I was a little too brave, I think, with them,” the student, who prefers to remain anonymous, said. “I basically told them to f*ck off and that they were pieces of sh*t.”

The student was talking to his mom on the phone when the suspects surrounded him. The student said they punched him in the face and neck.

He said he hit one of the suspects in the face with the hand holding his phone and broke his phone.

He walked briskly toward Hillman Library with the men following him.

“I didn’t want to show panic because I didn’t want them to pounce,” he said. The student said he walked in the middle of the road to increase his visibility.

His mother called the police.

When the student entered the library, he borrowed a friend’s cell phone to call his mom and tell her that he was safe.

Police met the student outside Hillman Library. Elledge said that the man had a couple lacerations on his face and bottom lip but refused medical attention.

At the urging of his family, the student said he went to the emergency room around 11 p.m. A friend drove him to UPMC Presbyterian hospital.

The student said he never expected to be the target of an attempted robbery but he doesn’t want this experience to make him paranoid.

“I don’t want this to make me be scared of where I live,” he said. “I think I’m going to get a little pepper-spray keychain, just in case.”