JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A teenager attempted to rob an 18-year-old student near the campus of Edward Waters College about 8:40 p.m. Tuesday night near Pearce and McConihe streets, police said.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office report said the teen ambushed the student and told him to empty his pockets. When the student said no, the teen took out a handgun and threatened him.
Two cars then drove by and spooked the teen, who ran away.
The student told police the robber was probably about 16 or 17 years old and had a “boyish voice.” He said the teen was “skittish and nervous.”
The student said he was glad he wasn't hurt, but declined further comment.
Edward Waters College released a statement Wednesday about the incident:
The safety of the Edward Waters College students is of the utmost importance to us all. Upon receiving the report of an attempted robbery near campus on Sept. 6, 2016, all students were notified by our Tiger Alert System, and all precautionary measures for safety were taken.
The college's assistant vice president told News4Jax on Wednesday that she wants students to know the administration is taking every step to make sure students are safe, including using the JSO officers substation on campus.
EWC students said Wednesday that they are being cautious and many are choosing not to walk alone at night. Police said the attempted robbery was the second crime this week near the college.
“I wouldn’t walk around here at night, and I’m not really scared of too much of anything," student Curtis Coffey said. "Somebody was just killed down the street from here on school property. These students are not ready for that type of situation.”
News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said students should carry only a small amount of money with them each day.
“At the beginning of the school year, sometimes students do have a lot of money because they may be paying for supplies and books and those types of things, so when you are out on campus, just carry... what you need for that day," Smith said.
He said students who are held up should just give up their cash.
“At that point, the best thing to do is to give the person the money," Smith said. "No matter how much cash you have on you, it’s not worth your life.”
Coffey said students need to protect themselves and come together to create a positive environment.
“We need the communities, we need the people that live out here to stick together, to come together, to put our brains together to stop this senseless killing, stop this senseless robbing," Coffey said.
JSO officers are still looking for the would-be robber.