Dave Lyon once felt safe on campus. The management sophomore now feels vulnerable after an attack on campus resulted in a trip to Yale-New Haven Hospital last weekend.
“This definitely changed my perception of safety at Quinnipiac,” Lyon said.
Lyon, a 19-year-old who is 6 feet tall and weighs 170 pounds, said he and a friend left the second floor of the Perlroth residence hall to go outside and have a cigarette at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 5. His friend accidentally dropped two of the cigarettes to a lower level.
As Lyon walked down to the fallen cigarettes, “some kids grabbed the cigarettes and started to walk away,” he said.
Lyon said he approached an individual he described as “pretty hammered” and asked, “Hey, are you going to give those back?”
Lyon, who was standing sideways, said he was then punched on the left side of his jaw, a shot that dropped him down onto his elbow and caused his head to hit a wall.
“The kid then came on top of me and started to punch my face and head violently,” Lyon said. “I put my hands up to defend myself. He was hitting me everywhere my hands weren’t.”
An unregistered guest at Quinnipiac, Raymond Dreyer, 20, of 2405 Whitney Ave. was arrested at 3:43 a.m. and charged with assault in the third degree and breach of peace, the Hamden police said. He is scheduled to appear before a judge on Feb. 16.
However, for Lyon, more painful than the actual injuries of the attack was the realization of how easy it was for the attack to take place. “The kid drove onto campus and went into a dorm that he should not have had access to. Who is to say that this can’t happen in any dorm during the week,” Lyon said.
Lyon said his assailant was “swearing a lot and yelling. It was pretty ridiculous.”
Fortunately for the sophomore, seven or eight Resident Assistants came to his aid after hearing the yelling, Lyon said.
In all, Lyon estimates that he was punched approximately three dozen times.
While the attack was occurring, Lyon recalls that students were mingling at the end of the building and did nothing to help him.
As the RAs approached Lyon’s attacker, he gave himself up outside on the Mountainview side of the dorm.
Lyon said he was pleased with the response he received from the university.
“The RAs asked if I was OK,” he said.
Soon after the attack, Lyon went to health services and received ice as he waited for an ambulance to arrive to take him to Yale.
Students on campus said they do not plan to change their day-to-day routine because of the attack.
“I never felt unsafe on this campus,” Caitlin Zavorskas, a junior media studies major said. “I don’t think it is the worst thing I heard of on this campus.”
Zavorskas said that she was surprised that an e-mail was not sent out telling students to take precautions following the assault.
“It’s nice to know what’s going on,” she said. “I’m sure things like this go on all the time and we just don’t ever know about it.”
“Security and health services did a good job,” Lyon said. “I only wish they found the other kid.”
Security responded by calling the Hamden Police Department.
“He [Lyon] did the right thing,” John Twining, chief of security and public safety said. “He came to us and reported it before it got out of hand. We’re here to keep people safe.”
Twining mentioned that although vehicles must stop at all gates before driving onto campus, the system isn’t fool proof. Visitors are supposed to be registered and students are supposed to be stopped so ID’s can be checked every single time someone drives on campus.
“It’s not impossible to get on campus, but we have been tightening it up,” Twining said. “Other universities look at me and say ‘You have a guest pass policy?'”
Lyon commented that he was in a lot of pain. “I had sharp pains in my chest. It hurt everywhere when I exhaled,” Lyon said. “It still hurts sometimes.”
Dan Runcie, a freshman marketing major, did not like hearing about the attack.
“It’s not a good thing to hear,” he said. “It will be in the back of my mind when on campus.”
Although a week and a half has passed since the assault, Lyon still feels the pain of the early morning attack.
“The left side of my face still feels like jelly,” he said. “He hit my jawbone a bunch of times and so when I yawn it really kills.”