For the second time in four days, a Dartmouth student was allegedly attacked and beaten near the Hopkins Center for the Performing Arts.
In the most recent attack early Tuesday morning, five or six boys, apparently of high school age, knocked down a Dartmouth junior, struck him in the head and kicked him several times before fleeing, according to College Proctor Bob McEwen. The attack took place in the alley between the Hop and the Hood Museum of Art.
The victim was treated for facial bruises at Dick's House, McEwen said.
Early last Friday morning, a different Dartmouth male was allegedly tackled and beaten by two males of high school age in the courtyard between the Hop and the Hanover Inn. He was taken to Dick's House for observation, but sustained no serious injuries.
Hanover Police Sergeant Frank Moran said Tuesday's attack was completely unprovoked.
The student was walking when five or six boys approached him. "One of the males attacked him," Moran said. "He was knocked down to the ground and kicked repeatedly by this group of people."
When the attackers fled, "the victim was able to get himself together, and was assisted by a professor in the area," Moran said.
Moran said Hanover Police thinks the two attacks could be related.
"We're looking at the connection. There are obvious similarities," Moran said. He said it is possible the same assailants were involved in both attacks.
"There are certain qualities described by both that are similar," he said. "However, there are some potential differences."
According to McEwen, both victims said they would be able to recognize their attackers.
"We're looking at high schools in the area. We're certainly concerned with Hanover High School," Moran said. "We don't know for sure where they came from."
Moran said the assailants in each random attack were too young to be Dartmouth students.
According to an electronic-mail message distributed to the Area Coordinators by Safety and Security, "the suspects are ... between the ages of 16 and 20."
Hanover Police have created a composite sketch of one of the suspects from the second assault, but Police Chief Nick Giaccone would not release the composite last night.
"We're fearful the suspect will see the composite," Moran said. "We're working on a particular individual."
He said the suspect could be more difficult to apprehend if he saw his picture in the newspaper.
Although neither victim was seriously injured, McEwen said he doubts the assailants were out looking for a good time.
"I wouldn't want to consider it as being fun," he said. "If you kick someone in the face you could do serious damage."
The BlitzMail message describes the five or six suspects as, "between 5'6"-5'8", medium build(s), 140 to 150 pounds wearing baseball caps. Two of the suspects were wearing the same type jackets."
Moran said he thinks there might be more random attacks in the future.
"We're concerned it could continue because there is no reason for it in the first place," he said.
But McEwen said Dartmouth students have no reason to panic.
"I don't want people to feel they're not safe," McEwen said. "But certainly this has heightened our awareness."
Because of the two incidents, Safety and Security will probably have a greater presence in the area around the Hop, he said.
"Any student who feels uncomfortable walking shouldn't hesitate to call Safety and Security for a ride or an escort," McEwen said.
Anyone who witnessed a group matching the description around the time of either attack should contact Hanover Police or Safety and Security, Moran said.