The Argus has more information about last Friday’s Public Safety report: two students, Claire Staples ’09 and Travis Fitzgerald ’09, were assaulted in an unprovoked attack by four people on Friday night, outside the Davison Art Center on High Street.
Following a gathering at her house on Court Street, Staples and Fitzgerald were traveling up Court Street towards a friend’s house when they noticed four youths loitering ahead. The youths began to follow them, at which point Staples and Fitzgerald crossed High Street and headed towards safety at the CFA, where they both have studios. Staples then tried to flag down a passing PSafe patrol car, but it failed to notice her attempts.
…Within seconds, Staples was severely hit multiples times in the face by one assailant. Fitzgerald, after chasing the attackers, sustained minor injuries to the face and back. No weapons were used in the assault, and theft does not seem to have been a motive. Following the attack, Fitzgerald called PSafe, and he and Staples, who was heavily bleeding, were taken to the hospital.
The effects of the assault have outlasted the incident itself. Staples, who bore the brunt of the attack, sustained an orbital blowout fracture below her left eye and received multiples stitches for cuts on her chin. Currently on Percocet to numb the pain, she is unable to attend classes or work on her senior thesis.
“I definitely thought that I was invincible,” Staples said. “Now I feel a little vulnerable. It all happened in like twenty seconds.”
This is pretty unnerving – by all accounts this kind of attack is rare, and Public Safety has stepped up security in the area since Friday. The case is being pursued with the Middletown Police Department, but the fact that it happened is another reminder to watch your back when you’re out late.
The victims are admirably clear-headed about the incident:
The assault is particularly unsettling for Staples since it appears to be unprovoked and unmediated. Additionally, she feels that it was directed towards her not as an individual, but as a Wesleyan student.
“I was attacked because I was a Wes student,” Staples said. “It didn’t matter that it was me. It’s an isolated incident and yet it’s not an isolated incident. It was just a bunch of fucking punk ass kids.”
Staples, who has lived on the periphery of campus both during the summer and academic year, still considers Middletown a safe place to live. Both she and Fitzgerald do not fault the community for what happened or see this assault as an accurate depiction of relations between the University and greater community.
“It certainly hasn’t changed my opinion of Middletown,” Staples said. “I know that it’s not a good representation of Middletown. It’s still a great place to live.”
According to the Argus, Claire is planning to hold an art show of photos chronicling her injuries in March – kudos for making something positive out of this ordeal.
Argus: Two Students Attacked Outside CFA on Friday