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2 attacked near Clover Ridge

Deirdre Krasula and Jenn Metz | Friday, August 22, 2008

A Notre Dame student and her fiancé were attacked and robbed while walking from a local restaurant to her Clover Ridge apartment Thursday night, police said.

The attack, described by Captain Phil Trent of the South Bend Police Department (SBPD) as a “strong armed robbery,” took place at 10:50 p.m. in front of 1710 North Irish Way. Both victims were taken to a local hospital and were released Friday.

Jenni Gargula, 21 was returning to her apartment from Between the Buns on South Bend Ave. with her fiancé, Tom Chesnick, Notre Dame ’07, and Liz Crosby, 21, when a black Jaguar pulled up alongside them.

Crosby, a friend who was walking with the victims, told The Observer that a white male in his early twenties jumped out of the passenger seat of the car and claimed that Chesnick owed him money. Chesnick had never seen the attacker before.

The attacker proceeded to punch Chesnick in the face and repeatedly beat him, Crosby said. The driver then got out of the car and also began assaulting Chesnick.

Gargula approached Chesnick to see how badly he was hurt when one of the assailants pushed her to the ground and began beating her, Crosby said. A female then got out of the car and began kicking and beating Gargula as well.

Crosby approached the victims and the assailants verbally threatened to injure her, she said. Crosby then proceeded to call the South Bend Police. She was not injured.

The fire department and medics were called to the scene and responded immediately, Trent said.

A brown purse was reported stolen after the attack.

A resident of Irish Crossings heard the disturbance and came outside. As he did, the three assailants got back into the car and left the scene. As the car sped off, Crosby was able to get the license plate number.

The police were able to trace the license plate to a 21-year old St. Joseph County resident whose name was not released by the police. He was arrested for robbery and taken into custody.

Trent said the SBPD are still working on the case and looking for other suspects.

Chesnick and Gargula were taken to a local hospital, where Chesnick received stitches on his lip and was treated for minor scrapes and bruises. His left eye was swollen shut. Gargula was treated for minor scrapes and bruises. Neither suffered serious injuries.