A Bradley University student says someone tried to mug her while she was walking on the eastern edge of campus this week.
The 22-year-old victim tells police she was walking on North Underhill around 4:00 a.m. Monday when a man approached her from behind, put a knife to her throat, and tried rob her. While he was grabbing her phone and wallet, she says she was able to kick him in the groin and escape unscathed. The victim says her assailant was a black, in his 20s, about six feet tall, and weighed around 160 pounds.
Bradley University Police Chief Brian Joschko says the incident, which occurred just two days after students returned to the hilltop for the fall semester, serves as an important reminder that the campus is not immune from crime, even if it rarely happens.
The department offers a host of services to Bradley students to help them get from point A to point B, like the student patrol and the Hilltop Safety Cruiser, a free shuttle service that takes students to places on and near campus.
"Our police officers will provide rides or walking escorts for students as well," Joschko said.
He says despite the recent attempted robbery report, campus is relatively safe. Only a handful of crimes handled by BUPD every year.
"The majority of those, though, are really off campus," Joschko said.
He says his department also works to safeguard the campus from outside influences, a difficult task at times because of the urban setting in which Bradley is nestled. The campus sits just up the hill from what some consider to be Peoria's more dangerous neighborhood, as well, which Joschko admits he was concerned about when he first took his post three years ago. Since then, though, he's found that the rumors of rampant crime near Bradley may be overexaggerated.
"The neighborhoods that immediately surround the campus are wonderful," he said. "I also would say that it's only very rarely that we see outside elements coming through."
Joschko says his department also spends a great deal of time trying to teach students to stay safe. Basic precautions, like walking in groups, staying in well-lit areas, and being aware of their surroundings, can make all the difference when it comes to personal safety.