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Students assaulted near bus route stop

Madeline Buckley | Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Three students were assaulted while trying to board the Transpo bus route 7A early Sunday morning.

One of the students, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he was walking toward the bus after leaving a house party near the corner of Miner St. and Notre Dame Ave. when a man accompanied by several people attacked him and two others.

The Notre Dame senior said a man approached one of the victims, grabbed him and asked him for money before the student got on the bus. He said the man then approached him and asked for a lighter when he assaulted him.

“I stopped walking long enough for him to step forward and punch me in the face,” he said. “I have no memory of what happened from this point until I was on the bus bleeding a lot. The 30 or so seconds in between are blank.”

The same man then attacked the other student, also a male senior, when he tried to help his friend onto the bus. The bus driver helped the students get into the bus and drove away, the victim said.

Once on the bus, the students called 911 and were met by Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) at Library Circle.

“I received stitches above my upper lip and on the inside of my mouth because a tooth had gone through my lip,” the victim said. “I feel lucky that the bus driver, who isn’t paid to be a bodyguard, put himself in danger helping to stop the assault and to get us on the bus.”

Assistant director for NDSP Dave Chapman said an officer responded to an assault call early Sunday morning and escorted students to the hospital. The South Bend Police Department responded as well and are in charge of the investigation and police report. 

The student said he was surprised that the attack was able to happen near the bus, which is meant to be a safe way for students to get to bars and student houses. Before he was attacked, about 20 students had just boarded the bus.

“I know [Notre Dame] made the bus route with Transpo to help keep us all safer and I am thankful for that, but even feet outside the bus we are not always safe. I felt safe there and had my guard down” he said. “I was feet from the door to a bus carrying 30 or more students and was not walking alone.

“If a stranger stops you outside the Transpo bus you are not safe just because there are 30 or so witnesses within feet.”