Robbery on U. of R. pedestrian bridge unsettling for some

Rochester, N.Y. -- Rochester police are investigating another armed robbery on the pedestrian bridge near the University of Rochester.

Police are looking for two men who held up a 36-year-old graduate student at gunpoint before making off with his personal property. They tell 13WHAM they are following leads on the two suspects thanks to a witness and surveillance video.

According to investigators, the graduate student's cell phone, book bag and wallet were taken. The victim reportedly used a blue light emergency phone to call campus security.

It's a mixed bag of feeling for some students who walk across the pedestrian bridge daily.

"It's a little concerning," said U. of R. senior Aishwarya Krishnamoorthy. "I walk across the bridge a couple times a day, even evening. I've been doing it for four years, so it's not a big deal."

However, for Andrea Bennett, Tuesday night's robbery is unsettling.

"Me and my roommate were very scared because she had been walking home 20 minutes before that, like, alone on the bridge," she said.

Bennett said students get email alerts regularly about robberies.

"We should definitely have more public safety on this bridge," she said. "I've actually called the school before to complain about that, and nothing seemed to really change."

Five years ago, Adrian Elim found himself staring down the barrel of a .22 caliber rifle on that bridge.

"I was walking cross the bridge, and there were these three guys who were, like, at the end of the bridge walking in the same direction I was walking," Elim said. "Then, they turned around and started walking towards me. Then, I was like, 'Oh, crap.' They said, 'Give up your stuff.'"

Elim said there was a scuffle, but he got away.

Police did catch three suspects in that case.

"As soon as one let me go, I sped across the bridge to get to the other side of campus," Elim recalled.

The school continues to warn students to be aware of their surroundings and walk in groups, if possible.

"You should be prepared more than be scared," Ella Purington, a U. of R. senior, said. "And not do anything because of it, like, walking at night. Students are easy targets, but you should expect it."

Elim suggests students should not walk with cell phones or electronic devices out.

"Also, explore the community to become a familiar face there, so people are less likely to harm you," said Elim.

Anyone with information in Tuesday's robbery is asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 423-9300.

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