NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A professor at Norfolk State University recently became the victim of a terrifying robbery, and now she’s calling for change.
Dr.Carol Pretlow was just sitting at the Tide station near campus, waiting for her train on a Sunny afternoon. That was last Thursday, when she said two teenagers walked past her and then one came back and asked to use her phone.
“I said, ‘you know what, I don’t think I have it. I think I left it in the office’ … and he said, ‘so what you gonna do for me?'”
Pretlow gave him her purse, but asked for her ID, Passport and ATM card back. The suspect gave the purse back so she could get the items, but then got agitated.
“He said, ‘I think we’re gonna have to smoke her, she’s moving too slow.'”
She handed back the purse, and the train approached. She got on, and the teens got away. A week later, police made two arrests, and the professor made some changes.
“It did motivate me to talk to some people on the faculty and talk to some people in the community about seeing if we can support City Council and the police department.”
Pretlow would like to see more security on light rail trains, at the stations and in the community in general.
10 On Your Side spoke with Norfolk police and Hampton Roads Transit. Both have stepped up security in and around the NSU Tide station since the incident, and Pretlow said she’s noticed.
Norfolk State University released the following statement about the robbery and arrest:
Dr. Carol Pretlow is one of many of our beloved faculty at Norfolk State University who is respected by students, her colleagues and many of our alumni.
We were saddened to learn about the reported events that took place at the light rail station in the 1600 block of Brambleton Avenue the afternoon of July 24, 2014. We are grateful that Dr. Pretlow, or any other citizen near the station, was not injured.
We would like to thank the Hampton Roads Transit and the Norfolk Police Department for their handling of the investigation and swift response that resulted in the arrest of two suspects. Now it is time for the legal process to take its course.
More importantly, we look forward to having Dr. Pretlow back on campus when classes resume later this month. She is an outstanding educator who is dedicated to helping her students become productive citizens and critical thinkers.