By Molly Igoe
Elm Staff Writer
On Nov. 2 at approximately 11 p.m. a Washington College student was walking from his friend’s house in the area of 300 Calvert St. when he started having a conversation with a young African American male. In a matter of minutes, three other African American males came up behind him and started punching him. He fell to the ground, and the four young men repeatedly kicked him, walking away shortly thereafter.
According to the police report, a Chestertown policeman noticed a Public Safety officer from the College looking for someone or something. He was looking for the victim, who reported the assault at about 1 a.m. to Public Safety. It is believed that the student did not contact the police initially.
It remains unclear whether there was a motive or not. The victim was not robbed, and he did not report experiencing anything else besides physical assault during the confrontation. Chestertown Chief of Police G. Adrian Baker said, “We have no idea if there was a possible motivation, but this incident would be considered a second-degree assault.”
Although Chestertown is considered fairly safe, there were 42 cases of assault reported in 2013 according to the police report for that year, a relativly high number for the small population. USA.com found that the Chestertown crime rate is higher than both Maryland’s average crime rate and the country’s average crime rate. The majority of these crimes are burglaries and thefts.
City-Data.com reported that in 2012 the violent crime rate in Chestertown was 314.5 percent, which surpassed the national average of 214 percent. Violent crimes include murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft, and arson.
This is not the only incident reported on Calvert Street in the last year. On May 12, an article in the Chestertown Spy reported that there had been a drive-by shooting on Calvert Street, which critically injured a Chestertown woman.
Chestertown as a whole remains a relatively safe environment for residents and college students. Director of Public Safety Jerry Roderick said, “This is an alarming incident, because we are not sure about a motive, and it seems as though they committed this assault just for the sake of it. It is important to be safe in town, because these individuals are probably still out there. The best thing for students to do is to use Safe Ride when possible, to travel in pairs, and to only walk in well-lit, safe areas.”
Baker echoed these statements about personal safety. “I advise students to walk with someone and to always be mindful of their surroundings.” In light of the recent drive-by shooting, and now this assault, it is important for students and residents to remain vigilant when they are walking around town.
This incident mainly involved the Chestertown police, but Public Safety still played an important role in the conflict. Roderick said, “Although this matter primarily concerns Chestertown police, we met with the student, and he is doing well.”
This case has not yet been solved but Baker said, “We do know that the suspects are four young adult African American males. If anyone has any specific information, that would make it easier for us to narrow down our search.”
Roderick said, “I would encourage students to report anything suspicious going on around town or on campus.”
If anyone has any more information about this assault, the Chestertown Police Department can be reached at 410-778-1800. To report suspicions about on-campus activities, Public Safety can be reached at 410-778-7810.