NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – While Norfolk police look for three men who attacked and robbed an Old Dominion University student, 10 On Your Side learned no one from the university alerted students.
Norfolk police didn’t initially alert the public about the crime, and the management at The District — an off-campus apartment complex — didn’t alert the students who live there.
During an exclusive interview with the victim, 21-year-old Hudson, 10 On Your Side learned the suspects forced their way into his apartment, stole electronics and cash, and left him bloodied and bruised.
ODU students WAVY.com spoke to had no idea what had happened until we told them.
“I live here, and I didn’t hear about it. It’s kind of shocking,” said Zachary Valley, a junior at ODU who lives at The District.
Makayla Carter, an ODU sophomore, said, “I feel like I should have been told. I live in The District. What if that would have been me?”
10 On Your Side worked to find out who is responsible for alerting students of crimes like this. Giovanna Genard, Acting Assistant Vice President of Strategic Communication and Marketing at ODU, responded to our emails. She said ODU follows the federal Clery Act to determine when to send an alert.
According to the Clery Act, colleges and universities are required to do certain things when crimes occur on or around their campuses. They must issue timely warnings about crimes that pose a serious or ongoing threat to students and employees. Those crimes include robbery.
Genard also told 10 On Your Side The District is considered off-campus and referred us to Norfolk police.
10 On Your Side reported Tuesday, it wasn’t until after we inquired about this crime Monday night via email that Norfolk Police Department (NPD) public information officers released information to the public about the assault and robbery.
Corporal Melinda Wray with the NPD said crimes are always posted to the city’s CrimeView webpage, although with non-specific information about suspects or what actually happened.
Cpl. Wray also admitted that the public information officers were handling another case making national attention last week and were out of the office. However she said pamphlets about crime prevention were given to officials at The District for distribution.
10 On Your Side has been trying to get answers from The District’s management. We left a messages for Stuart Davis, the Senior Vice President of Asset Campus Housing, which is the company that owns The District. At 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Davis returned our calls.
Davis said no crime alert was initially given to residents at The District because management didn’t have all the facts about the attack. In fact, he said staff at The District was not made aware that Norfolk Police were even in the building on the day of the attack. It wasn’t until Tuesday that management got confirmation from police that the crime had occurred, according to Davis
Davis said The District emailed and hand delivered crime alerts to residents on Thursday, April 16 — exactly a week after the attack. WAVY.com was sent one of the email crime alerts, which had no information about the attack. It was simply an email with crime prevention and reduction tips.