The independent news organization of Duke University

3 students charged in robbery

Three Duke students were charged with robbery, motor vehicle theft and false imprisonment following an incident in Beta Theta Pi fraternity section last month, the Duke University Police Department reported Tuesday.

Five students were involved in the Dec. 9 robbery in House Y. Following a police investigation, sophomores Jay Baviskar and John Larson and junior Jason Kops were served Friday, and warrants were issued for the two others. Only Baviskar is currently enrolled at the University; Kops and Larson were suspended at the end of last semester because of a separate incident.

The incident occurred at about 10 p.m. when the victim, a 23-year-old Orange County man, and his girlfriend visited one of the students in his room. The man told police he went to “hang out” and reimburse a student for concert tickets.

While there, the students accused the man of stealing $1,000, police said. The man told investigators the students threatened to hurt and kill him and would not let him or his girlfriend leave the room. The students then demanded the man’s credit cards and took $274 cash and his 1999 Honda Accord, police said.

Leanora Minai, senior public relations specialist for DUPD, said police were “not sure” if drugs were involved. “Obviously there’s some sort of motive here, and we’re trying to investigate all the possibilities,” she said.

Kops, 20, said he and his friends were “completely innocent” and that when the victim visited the room, he was breaking a court trespassing writ stemming from a previous incident on campus.

“We’re not guilty,” Kops said. “They’re crazy allegations from a crazy person.”

Baviskar, 20, and Larson, 19 could not be reached for comment.


Share and discuss “3 students charged in robbery” on social media.