UNF student tied up, robbed in dorm room

Campus police release descriptions of 2 men in home invasion

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – University of North Florida police are looking for two, possibly three men who reportedly burst into a dorm room, then tied up and robbed a student Tuesday night.

According to an email sent to students, faculty and staff Tuesday, the student was attacked about 7:45 p.m. in his dorm room in Building X of The Landing dorms on campus.

The student reported to campus police that he was hit over the head with a gun and then the two men forced their way into his room, demanding money and drugs.

"They grabbed him and then they hit him," the victim's roommate told News4Jax. "They asked him where the money was (and) pistol-whipped (him) and they tied him up with a phone charger and put a bag over his head and it’s like they said, 'Where is the money?' and he said, 'There’s no money,' they started hitting him more."

The victim told police he was tied up by the two men, who stole $10 and took off.  He told his roommate more details.

"When they left, he went over to my desk grab the scissors untied himself and jumped out the window, met them in the parking lot and chased down their car and got their license plate," said the roommate, who does not want to be identified while the attackers are on the loose.

Witnesses reported seeing a third person standing in a stairwell who could have been acting as a lookout.

Police have released a description of two of the three men:

  • The first is a black man who is 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 275 pounds, with dreadlocks pulled back. He was wearing a black and gold shirt and black jeans. He also had tattoos on his stomach.
  • The second is a black man, 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 140 pounds, wearing a black shirt and black socks.

They were seen leaving in a dark-colored car.

The student who reported this told police he didn't know who the two men were or what they were talking about with the drugs and money comment. He did not need to be hospitalized.

Police are checking campus surveillance video as part of their investigation.

A review of three years of statistics for UNF shows crime has actually dropped since 2015, but this is the third incident involving guns on campus in the last three months.

Student Cameron Daniel was arrested in September after police said he pulled a gun and fired into the ceiling of his Osprey Cove dorm. In October, Cage William Edwards was arrested after another student said Edwards pointed a gun at him and pulled the trigger, but it did not fire.

"This should not happen on campus. People shouldn't have guns," student Shane Shaffy said. "I think there should be a no tolerance policy when it comes to things like this."

But other students told News4Jax the campus does not feel like a dangerous place and police officers are always nearby.

"They have a big presence on campus. They are out and about a lot," Building X resident Richie McDonough said. "It’s just maybe they could patrol a little bit more."

UNF President John Delaney told News4Jax he is concerned about this latest violent crime on campus and said it is probably going to be drug-related.

"What we had now a couple of times is people off campus and coming onto campus," Delaney said. "Setting aside this incident, there has been some drug involvement. So we are working on that."

The victim's roommate confirmed the attackers were after drugs.

"They kept saying, 'Where’s the money? Where’s the money? They thought we were dealers of  some sort," he said.

Another student who lives on the same floor said strangers came to his door last week looking for drugs.

"It’s become more of an issue and I heard parents are concerned as well," student Maxwell Milton said.

Delaney said that despite the three gun incidents so far this semester, UNF is traditionally one of the safest campuses in the United States.

UNF has 36 police officers, and while adding some more is possible, there are no plans to do so right away.

"What we are really going to try and rely on his people keeping their eyes open," Delaney said. "Using staff and faculty, keeping track of who is coming and going and who may be suspicious. Housing is going to do a few initiatives. When there is a drug issue, some of the other kids on the floor should really know. Hopefully, we’ll get some information on that and keep everybody safe."

Anyone with information about what happened is asked to call UNF police at 904-620-2800.

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