Student attacked, robbed in Wayne

By Jaclyn Freese
September 11, 2003

Harold William Halbert

Junior Ryan Norris touches the sling on his right arm gingerly with his mangled left hand. He slips the sling off and reveals the scrapes and bruises that cover his skin.

“The hospital told me that my muscles are very bruised,” Norris, an English/communications major, said. “I was using my arm to get away while he was standing on it. He just kept stomping on it.”

Norris, a resident assistant in Xavier Hall and the president of the junior class, was on a leisurely stroll at dusk on Sunday evening, Sept. 7, when he was mugged minutes from Cabrini’s Eagle Road entrance.

The thug left him with his right arm dangling in a sling and his left hand distorted where the rocks on the macadam were jutting into his skin as the mugger twisted his boots onto Norris’ hand. The robber also took Norris’ debit card.

The mugging happened at about 9:15 p.m. between the bridge on Walnut Street and the stop sign on Paul Street, a few feet away from the park that is located right next to Eastern.

“I left Cabrini’s campus at 8:00 p.m. to take a walk,” Norris said. “I left alone, but it wasn’t the first time I walked alone. It was the first nice night in a long time, so I wanted to take a walk.”

Norris stopped at the WaWa on Lancaster Avenue to get a drink and headed back to Cabrini. He was walking with his head down when he heard footsteps coming towards him. He looked up and saw a man on the same side of the road as him, heading his way.

“I said ‘how’s it going’ and he didn’t say anything,” Norris said. “He then used his leg and tripped me so I would fall forward.”

Norris caught himself on the palms of his hands as he fell face-first to the pavement. The mugger pushed him so he was flat on his stomach and put all his weight on Norris’ right arm, stomping on it with his boots. Norris tried to wiggle his arm from under the mugger’s boot, but the mugger kept stomping on his arm.

“I can remember very vividly the Timberland emblem on his boot,” Norris said. “His boots were very clean and Timberland still sticks out in my mind.”

The mugger said to Norris “give me your money” to which Norris replied that he had none. The mugger then asked Norris again to “give me all your money” to which Norris replied ‘I swear I have no money on me.’

After the mugger asked him for money a second time, Norris tried to use his left hand to somehow free himself, but the mugger used his other foot to step on Norris’ hand, grinding it into the ground.

“My hand looked like it was on a grill,” Norris said. “I told him to take my wallet. He let my hand go so I could reach for my wallet and I threw it in his direction.”

While still pinning Norris’ right arm down with his boots, the mugger thumbed through Norris’ wallet, emerging with only a debit card in hand. He threw the wallet onto Norris’ back and fled towards Valley Forge Military Academy.

“I felt like a year went by,” Norris said. “It was only like five minutes.”

Norris walked back to Cabrini and decided to stop at Public Safety because it was closer than his room in Xavier Hall. Norris encountered a few problems as he tried to call for help.

“I used the emergency phone and no one answered the first time I called,” Norris said. “Again, it felt like so much time had gone by, but I pushed again and finally someone answered. I said ‘it’s Ryan Norris at Public Safety and I need someone immediately.'”

Norris hung up and saw a swarm of public safety officers coming to his aid. One public safety officer immediately called the Radnor Police and another one gave him an antiseptic hand wipe for the wounds on his hand.

“It burned so bad,” Norris said. “It was so painful, but the pain in my right arm balanced the burning in my hand. I had to just sit there and wait for the pain to settle. There was nothing I could do.”

The Radnor cops showed up and had Norris write down a statement of what had happened to him. Norris, who writes with his right hand, said it hurt very much trying to write the statement. After writing the statement, he called to have his card cancelled. For some reason, Norris was not able to cancel his card at that time, so he had to wait until the next morning to close his account.

On Monday morning, Sept. 8, Norris had his arm checked out at Bryn Mawr Hospital and returned to his room at 3:00 p.m. He checked his messages on his voice mail and had a message from a local detective saying that he wanted to come by to talk to Norris. Norris agreed and met the officer outside within minutes.

He was asked to look through a pile of headshots to see if he could identify the thug. One in particular stood out to him and he told the officer which one it was. Norris has not heard anything since Monday afternoon.

“I will never walk alone at night outside of campus,” Norris said. “I thought the area, being Radnor and all, was safe. But, I will never walk alone at night, which is the best advice I can give.”

Posted to the web by Toccara Buckley

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Jaclyn Freese

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