Shawn Olstein ’22
On Saturday Oct. 24, at approximately 5:45 pm and 6:15 pm and Sunday, Oct. 25 at 1:10 am, three separate paintball incidents occurred. The first of these incidents occurred on Summit Street between Admissions and Vernon Street. The paintballs were reportedly shot from a white or silver SUV. The second incident occurred on Allen Place near Affleck Street, with the paintballs being shot by a black Mitsubishi Outlander. The third incident also occurred on Allen place, where paintballs were shot at two students from a silver Nissan Maxima or Altima (CT License Plate AV 88041) that was traveling eastbound on Allen Place. None of the students involved in these three incidents were injured, however one of the students in the 1:10 am shooting was struck by a paintball.
Earlier this week, on Tuesday, October 20, at approximately 4:30 pm on Summit Street near the start of Vernon Street a student reported to campus safety that they were chased by a passenger from a gray Mitsubishi SUV with Connecticut temporary license plate 88125N2. The student had been jogging on Summit Street when the SUV slowed near the student. The driver of the car then began to beep the car’s horn to get the attention of the student. A passenger of the vehicle proceeded to exit the SUV and run after the student. The chase lasted only a short distance.
The passenger then returned to the vehicle at Summit and Allen Place. The vehicle drove past the student, honked again, and left. The student was uninjured. Director of Campus Safety Brian Heavren told the Tripod that the case is “an active investigation” and that Campus safety is coordinating with the Hartford Police Department and “will share updates if new information id developed and when it is safe to do so, without risk of compromising the investigation.” Heavren added that the “motive and intent of the people involved is unknown.” “Campus safety” Heavren continued, “has video footage” of the incident that they “will be providing to the Hartford Police Department. Campus Safety declined to indicate the gender of the student who was targeted.
In response to these reports the Campus Safety Department has adjusted the deployment of its officers and the contracted security officers to the areas where these incidents have occurred. In addition, the department has hired additional Hartford Police officers in the short-term to provide additional safety and protection in and around campus. Campus Safety advises students to call Campus Safety at (860) 297-2222 or dial 911 for Hartford Police, Fire, and EMS if they feel unsafe or threatened.
Furthermore, because the paintball incidents have traditionally occurred on the thru streets that surround campus, Campus Safety recommends that when possible people walk on the interior paths on campus and use Vernon street rather than Allen Place to avoid thru traffic and to reduce pedestrian density on these streets.
In addition, students should be mindful of vehicles that are traveling slowly or that slow as they approach people. If any student has information that may help in the investigations, they should contact campus safety.