By Matthew Cole
Two men in their mid thirties, non students, got into a physical altercation on Wednesday night, March 26th, 2014 at 9:43pm in the Dana Library computer lab in Newark, NJ. The aggressor was wearing a green camouflage shirt and dark color jeans according to a student who was present during the altercation. It allegedly began when the aggressor thought another gentleman in a dark brown hooded sweatshirt and dark color jeans was checking out his girlfriend.
“As I was studying at Dana Library tonight I just witnessed a fight between two guys who do not even go here,” wrote Jessica Minarolli, a journalism major in an email. The fight quickly escalated after words were exchanged between the two men. “You are a dead man when you get outside,” said the men that was wearing the camouflage shirt. The other gentleman called on the Dana security officer, Donoven Robinson, to arrest the man threatening him.
Then three others tried to break the fight apart, including the lab consultant on duty, Quincy Morgan. “The Security Officer and I were trying to keep the two fighters separate from each other. After they started fighting, they ended up throwing each other onto the Reference Desk, and rolling off onto the floor,” said Morgan.
“Officer Robinson told [the students in the library] to stay out of it and this is when they got very physical, throwing books to the floor and almost [breaking] some of the desktops at the reference desk [on] the first floor of [the] Dana computer lab,” said Miss Minarolli in an email.
Events like this point to to a larger problem of safety at R-N. The Daily Beast ranked R-N third in least safe universities in 2010 with these statistics over the last three years:
Negligent Homicides: 0
Forcible Rapes: 28
Non-forcible Rapes: 0
Aggravated Assaults: 24
Car Thefts: 95
And the R-N neighbor just across the street, NJIT was ranked tenth – though Rutgers-Newark’s student body is larger with 2,661 more students; although, according Rutgers’ website, its campus size is 38 acres compared to the NJIT, whose campus is larger — 48 acres.
“The air is different at NJIT; you feel safer when you walk through there. You see campus police all over the place,” said Destiny Deriso, a Rutgers-Newark student.
Morgan said about the altercation in Dana, “I don’t recommend that anybody just jump in to break up a fight like I did. While it was noble, it’s pretty dumb as well, because I didn’t know if the guy had anything on him, and anything could have happened. I’m just lucky nobody got hurt and that the situation got neutralized as fast as it did, and that the RUPD and campus security were there fast enough to help out.”
Later, both men were detained by Officer Reid of the RUPD on simple assault charges. The RUPD, after being contacted through email and phone calls, was unable to comment to the article at the time of publication.