No headline provided

No headline provided

Following Wednesday’s mid-morning police chase through Tulane’s Uptown campus, which included a bicycle collision that injured a police officer, Tulane University Police Department arrested a man on multiple charges including simple robbery and battery at a police officer.

The chase began at approximately 9:30 a.m. when suspect Edwin Murillo approached a female Tulane student on St. Charles Ave and Palmer Streets, TUPD Col. Jack LeBlanc said. Murillo grabbed her left arm from behind to steal her iPhone as she walked toward the Uptown campus. After Murillo, dressed in gold scrubs and riding a bicycle, failed to steal the phone, he rode away down St. Charles and the victim called TUPD. TUPD immediately dispatched all units to the area.

Murillo turned right on Calhoun Street and rode to the corner of Calhoun Street and Lasalle Place, where he snuck up behind a female Loyola University student, grabbed her right hand and stole her iPod Touch. Murillo continued down Calhoun toward Freret Street, where he encountered TUPD Officer Bobby McGee.

“[McGee] yelled, ‘Stop, stop!’ but the suspect went right into the officer and they both hit the ground,” TUPD Col. Jack LeBlanc said. “The officer took the brunt of the hit.”

McGee sustained bruises in the collision where the handlebars made contact with his chest. An ambulance took McGee to the Ochsner Baptist Medical Center, where he was treated and released after several hours.

Murillo, who lost his bike in the collision, continued to flee toward Willow Street. He turned left on Willow and ran toward campus. Officer Nicole Codey, at the corner of Willow and Ben Weiner Drive, ordered the suspect to stop and drew her weapon. He turned right at Ben Weiner and ran by Brown Intramural Field.

Murillo went back to Willow, running toward the corner of Willow Street and Audubon Boulevard where he found Lt. Clint Rollin.

“The subject moved his hand to his pocket, the officer drew his service weapon and the subject complied with the officer,” Leblanc said. “We later learned, after the arrest, that he had a box cutter in his pocket.”

Leblanc credited the successful arrest to the Tulane victim’s quick response to the incident.

“The timely call from the victim at Palmer and St. Charles allowed us to put resources in place to corner this individual,” Leblanc said.

At about the same time as the Murillo chase, a daytime armed robbery took place at the Capitol One Bank on Claiborne Avenue for the second time in three weeks. Leblanc said it is likely too early to draw connections between the crimes, and that the New Orleans Police Department is the investigating agency for the case. TUPD, however, decided to notify the Tulane community of the incident through a crime alert email.

Leblanc said that TUPD has noticed a recent increase in the number of daytime robberies.

We’ve not just increased our patrols at night, but we’ve also increased them in the daytime,” Leblanc said. “That’s why we had so many units responding in [the Murillo case]. But we don’t know why it’s occurring.”

Some students voiced concerns for their safety in response to the rise in daytime crime.

“It concerns me a little bit because it’s like they’re getting bolder, and it kind of freaked me out because I had just finished running in Audobon Park about the same time it happened,” sophomore Samantha Howe said. “But I feel completely safe with TUPD’s patrols. I know that they take student safety as their top priority.”

Senior Katherine Fischman said it feels a bit unnatural to take the same precautions during the day that she takes at night.

“It makes the safety problems seem a little bit more real when they happen during the day,” senior Katherine Fischman said.

Leblanc said that, while TUPD has increased patrols, the best strategy for students is to be aware of their surroundings all of the time.

“Some may tend to relax in the daytime, so we do have to realize that we have to maintain some vigilance at all times, not just at night time,” Leblanc said.

Junior Han Xu said that he is afraid that students may begin to feel unsafe walking to classes. Xu said that, in his opinion, crimes in the daylight might cross the line.

“Lurking out at night means the criminals still fear the power of justice so that they still need to cover themselves with darkness, at least psychologically, whereas committing crime in the day means the criminals no longer have the psychological awareness of risk of exposure,” Xu said.