A senior male Hofstra student was pistol-whipped and held at gunpoint at around 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31 during an attempted robbery at his off-campus residence on Lawrence Street in Uniondale. The house sits directly behind the Netherlands Complex, no more than 30 yards away from Hofstra’s campus. The student suffered several injuries after the attackers hit him numerous times with a black handgun and kicked him repeatedly. He was taken to Nassau University Medical Center with a fractured orbital, lacerations to the head, a contusion to the left hand and a suspected concussion.
The suspects have been identified as three black males. Police say that an investigation is currently underway.
The victim said that his new housemate had let the men into the home, and she had been unaware that they intended to cause harm.
Detective Lieutenant Richard Lebruh of the Nassau County Police Department said, “These individuals basically knew the name of the resident and they stated that when they went into the residence.”
The housemate brought the men to the stairs leading to the basement where the victim’s room was located. They proceeded to put masks over their faces during their descent. When he opened the door, the 21-year-old and his 20-year-old non-student girlfriend were confronted with gun and a violent altercation ensued.
Upon being hit with the gun after tackling two of the robbers to the ground, the victim said he was dragged into the hallway by the third man who proceeded to kick him and press him to reveal the combination to his safe, while his girlfriend locked the door to the room. When the victim refused to comply with the robbers’ demands, they all entered the room where the attackers threatened the victim’s girlfriend with a steak knife found in the room and with the gun in order to elicit the combination.
She said, “When they came up to me telling me to open the door with the gun pointed straight at me, I did feel like I was going to die. I’d never been told so many times that I was going to die. He grabbed me, and I was trying to unlock the door, and he wouldn’t let go of my arm. I looked at him dead in the eyes and I said, ‘Get your fucking hands off me right now.’”
The male victim managed to retract the mask of one of the men during the conflict. He said that although he could clearly see his face, he did not recognize the attacker.
The men eventually left the home and headed to a car. Witnesses said the suspects’ vehicle was a black Nissan Sentra with silver trim.
“It kind of all felt surreal to me. It didn’t feel like it was really happening. I only acted instinctively. I sort of knew that these kids weren’t looking to murder anyone on this day. They were just looking to get a quick buck,” the male victim said. “I don’t know what Hofstra could necessarily do about that since it’s not on campus. But considering that my house is so close to campus and that so many of our Hofstra students identify as commuters but really live right around campus, I think Hofstra should try to set up more surveillance cameras … Hofstra is not really in a good neighborhood and students just need to try to be as safe as possible.”
In a press release sent out by the Nassau County Police Department, authorities said “The investigation is on-going. Police request anyone with information to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.”
The Chronicle reached out to Hofstra’s Department of Public Safety, but they were not able to comment at the time of publication.