Two students assaulted in recent weeks

by Ben Frotscher

Two recent assaults at Simpson have made students think twice about walking alone on campus.

The most recent incident involved freshman Todd Rooney, who was assaulted by an unidentified person on Sunday at 3:56 a.m. Rooney was found outside of Barker Hall semi-conscious and bleeding.

“I have a bruise, but I also fractured my collar bone,” Rooney said.

The Indianola Police Department attempted to locate a suspect, but couldn’t find anyone matching the description. At publication, the matter is still being investigated.

Even though his injuries were serious, Rooney said this was just a fight in a college town.

“It was a one-time thing,” Rooney said.

The first campus assault of the semester happened Jan. 20 at approximately 11 p.m. in Buxton Park when senior Dusty Kain was attacked by four unidentified men. The assault left cuts and swelling on his face, but Kain didn’t call IPD or Simpson Security.

Later, at 1:36 a.m. on Jan. 21, an IPD officer was dispatched to the northeast side of the park because of a suspicious 911 call. The officer arrived and found several men there, including Kain.

According to the police report, Kain believed his attackers stole his cell phone. The alleged offenses were officially decided to be theft in the fifth degree and assault with injury. However, Kain decided not to pursue charges.

Kain declined to answer any questions pertaining to the situation.

Director of Security Chris Frerichs also declined to comment on the two recent incidents because both are still under investigation.

Even though he wasn’t able to give specific details about the incidents, he did say that Simpson Security isn’t responsible for patrolling Buxton Park.

“IPD is responsible for Buxton Park,” Frerichs said. “We do not do regular patrols in the park. We are increasing our patrols of the exterior of campus.”

Simpson hasn’t had many problems with robbery and aggravated assaults. According to the Campus Security Statistics from the Office of Postsecondary Education, the college had only one robbery between 2002 and 2004 and no aggravated assaults on campus.

As comparisons between 2002 and 2004, Central College had no robberies but five aggravated assaults, Wartburg College had no robberies but two aggravated assaults and Buena Vista University had two aggravated assaults but no robberies. Cornell College, Loras College and the University of Dubuque have had no robberies or aggravated assaults from 2002 to 2004

Frerichs said if anyone has information about the recent incidents, he or she should contact security or use the Silent Witness Confidential Reporting System.

Incidents like this really haven’t made junior Katie Craven feel less safe on campus. She walks through Buxton Park daily to and from Alpha Chi Omega.

“I generally walk through there with some of my sisters or my boyfriend,” Craven said.

Craven said the incidents haven’t made her uncomfortable, but she tries to keep herself protected.

“I still feel relatively safe,” Craven said. “You always have to protect yourself and know your self- defense skills.”