On the morning of Jan. 15, students awoke to a Timely Warning Notification. The night before, a student had been stabbed at Seattle University.
More than 10 months later, the victim has healed and the assailants have been charged and now face their sentences.
One of the attackers, a 23-year-old man, had his bail set at $1 million. He was sentenced to 76 months in prison.
The other two attackers were minors; a 15-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl. The stabbing was committed by the underage male, who was tried as a juvenile and, according to Marron, will be detained for two years. He will be put through rehabilitation and receive his General Education Diploma.
Around one o’clock on the morning of the incident, the then-24-year-old victim noticed he was being followed by three people as he made his way to campus. Once on the upper mall, the three assailants attacked him
He could feel them hitting him and going through his pockets, but he didn’t feel the stab wound until later.
After the assailants had fled, the victim managed to hit the button of a campus emergency phone. Public Safety reached him within a minute.
“The key to any sort of emergency response is getting that response time as low as possible,” said Executive Director of Public Safety and Transportation Tim Marron.
When Marron was hired, he instated the use of Segways, as well as frequent emergency training in the summer of 2013—both of which proved critical in responding to the early January stabbing on campus.
The first officer to reach the victim was Shift Supervisor for Public Safety Quang Tran, who stabilized the student and phoned for medical aid. The student said he was fine, but it was Tran who discovered the full extent of his injuries.
“And that was one of the major keys in that response, was recognizing that there was more to the story there,” Marron said.
From there, Public Safety did exactly as they had been trained. One officer went to the main entrance to direct the medics. Others were able to get a description of the attackers from the victim, and, thanks to the distance covered quickly by their Segways, they were able to find the assailants and contain them until police arrived.
“A common saying in police and fire training is, in an emergency, humans don’t rise to the occasion; they sink to the level of their training and preparation,” Marron said. “They didn’t rise to the occasion; that’s what they had practiced, and that’s what they did.”
Seattle U freshmen Kiana Lee and Regina Williams said that they are surprised that an attack like this would occur on campus.
“It’s like a little bubble here,” Lee said. “So it’s really strange to think that those things do happen.”
According to Marron, campus safety is an evolving concept. Decisions have to be made as to how best allocate resources for student security.
Marron says that crime occurs when there is desire and opportunity. Students can help Public Safety by assuming some responsibility for their own security, thus minimizing some of the “opportunity” that can enable crime.
“I usually tend to go with a group of people if I’m going [out at night] at all,” Lee said.
Just last week, a student was robbed at gunpoint close to the intersection of 14th Avenue and Jefferson. While students don’t have to always be anticipating crime, Marron says that their safety should be in the back of their minds. It is on the forefront of Public Safety’s.
“This is my job. The safety of the university is my sole focus. I think about it constantly. The People in Department of Public Safety—this is what we are thinking about all the time,” Marron said. “So that you don’t have to.”
Lena may be reached at [email protected]