Freshmen robbed at gunpoint

Three freshmen were robbed at 1 a.m. Saturday morning in the Wachovia bank parking lot at the corner of Ninth and Main Streets.

Although one student, John Besa, was shot twice in the leg by a BB gun and had to be treated by emergency medical services, none of the victims were seriously injured.

The freshmen, Besa, Mike Coggins and Melanie Weingart, told Duke University Police that three black men wearing black winter coats and bandanas over their faces approached them in the parking lot and demanded money. One suspect was armed with a BB-gun and another was armed with a knife, according to an alert on DUPD’s Web site. The victims reported that the suspects took between $125 and $130 in cash, but no other property was taken.

Besa said the suspects demanded his money and told him “they weren’t kidding.”

“At the time I was freaked out, it took me a while to process what was happening,” Besa said. “The first shot was to get my attention, the second shot was probably because I hesitated... after I understood what was happening, I just handed him the money.”

DUPD Assistant Chief Gloria Graham said the case will be handled by the Durham Police Department.

“I don’t think that there has been any progress in the case as of yet,” Graham said. “We will certainly help them and assist them.”

Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta sent out a mass e-mail to the student body reporting the incident, but claimed to have technical difficulties, which prevented numerous students from receiving it.

The students were walking to Cafe Parizade from East Campus, Coggins said.

“In hindsight, [the parking lot] probably wasn’t the best place to be because it’s not well-lit at night,” Coggins said. “I had never walked to Parizade before.”


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