Incidents involving the safety of North Central University students, including an attempted kidnapping and an assaulted robbery on campus property occurred within the same day on Jan. 22. These actions have prompted a response from the campus safety and security department and administration.
In cases of incidents of this nature, the North Central campus safety and security department works closely with the Minneapolis police department. Reports were filed and an on-going search for the suspects is taking place.
The first incident, an attempted kidnapping involving Jon Nelson, a senior music performance major, took place at 6:30a.m. Jan. 22.
A vehicle pulled up to the entrance of Miller Hall early the morning of Sunday Jan. 22, 2017. The suspects in the vehicle asked for directions. Agreeing to help them, Nelson walked toward the vehicle while pulling up directions on his phone.
The suspects grabbed Nelson, brandishing a weapon and demanding he get into the vehicle. Nelson immediately ran away. North Central security officers came up as Nelson began to scream and ran toward parking lot B, in front of Trask Word and Worship Center. The vehicle drove away from the scene, leaving everybody unharmed.
“It was eerie and scary that they didn’t even want my phone or wallet,” Nelson said. “They just wanted me to get in the car.”
The evening of Jan. 22 at 9 p.m., the assaulted robbery of a North Central student took place. The victim was struck and knocked to the ground by the suspect, who then proceeded to take her purse.
The student wished to remain anonymous about the details of the experience that evening.
James Crabtree, director of campus safety and security, sent emails to all North Central students and employees describing the events that occurred involving the incidents. Crabtree says there is no reason to believe that there is a connection between the two incidents.
“I have personally met with multiple police offices as well as our precinct’s Crime Prevention Specialist,” Crabtree said in an email. “We have an excellent relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department.”
The campus safety and security department acquires support from the police department whenever there is a need, especially in incidents such as these.
“We are working on having the Minneapolis Police Department come to NCU to conduct a personal safety seminar,” Crabtree said. “This would not include a self defensive course; however, hosting a self-defense course is something we are pursuing.”
Tighter campus security is occurring, including, two extra hours of vehicle patrol and an one additional officer on duty during Praise Gathering. The department is also working on contracting with a local security company for increased coverage during the evenings and weekends.
The campus safety and security department emphasizes safe practices when walking outside. In an email detailing personal safety tips sent to all community members of North Central, a heavy importance is made on being aware of surroundings and walking in groups of three or more.
“We have one of the tightest, well-trained security departments in Minneapolis, if not the state,” Crabtree said. “Our officers receive 60 plus hours of training per year which exceeds most other schools and some police departments.”
If you notice any sign of unusual behavior, call security at 612-343-4445.
Updated Feb. 17, 2017.