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Students Escape Robbery at Towers

Assistant Campus Editor

Published: Thursday, April 9, 2009

Updated: Thursday, April 9, 2009 08:04

Police are looking for four black males who attempted to rob two Howard students at gunpoint behind the West Towers around 1:15 a.m. Thursday.

Junior public relations major Tyler Acker and junior biology major Chaina Cooper were sitting outside when the silver Durango with Maryland plates drove up. The two students nodded it off as another student in passing.

One of the rear passengers jumped out of the vehicle to grab Acker's pockets, demanding that he give them his possessions. According to the police report, the suspect drew a .357 magnum revolver with a 4-5-inch barrel.

"While the guys in the car were telling him [the suspect] what to do, we made a run for it," Acker said.

The robbery was unsuccessful, as the suspects left with only Acker's keys. When Cooper took cover, Acker pushed the gun away, and ran between the towers to draw attention. The car then left and turned on Sherman Avenue.

Assuming the car would turn around and come back, Acker and Cooper tried to enter the Towers through the garage. But, the security on shift would not let them in, Acker said.

"We almost started a commotion then," he said. "As soon as another student parked their car, he let them in. But after we explained what happened, he still said we had to turn around and go through the front."

Local police arrived at the scene 15 minutes later, followed by campus police. Campus police said the situation with the security officer would be handled, without giving further detail.

This was the first incident that campus police saw that night, and local police advised the students to call 911 if they saw the vehicle again. Both students were not shocked from the incident, since "everything happened so fast."

Despite the rough encounter with the Towers security, Acker and Cooper remained calm. 
"It can happen anywhere," Acker said. "You just have to stay on your toes. Be aware of your surroundings."


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Sat Apr 11 2009 22:28
As a parent, I find this whole calamity by the HU security disgusting as well as frustrating!
Howard sucks
Fri Apr 10 2009 16:38
omg, how do i become the president of Howard? let me know...PLEASE.

Better yet, ill just work for a PRESTIGIOUS newspaper/tv station and spend the entire time AIRING out HU's dirty laundry for the world to see....yea, gimme that job instead.

Jana B GW Hater
Thu Apr 9 2009 23:09
This is deplorable. . . . just so this forum knows. . . ya'll should peruse the "news" at GW, NO and I mean NO there are NEVER weapons involved in the "incidents" at GW (THANK THE LORD) however, the "security," University Police, as well as University Administration are equally as bad and I dare say worse . . . because if there were to be a situation where there were anything other than a drunk white girl dealing with a lost ugg boot, I am not sure what they would do. . . . frankly. . . DC needs to start respecting their students, I know I am one of the few that loves this community- but how does DC expect us to stay here if we don't feel safe!!!
Thu Apr 9 2009 16:48
The unfortunate problem is this is not a new issue with HU, the Towers or security. This has been happening for years. Students have been robbed, raped, shot, stabbed and harassed on campus and in the dorms and it always seems to get swept under the rug. I tell you what, let's make a documentary on Crimes on Campus.

If anyone is interested, hit me up at and make it so we put the callous and careless actions of security and campus police on display. This way they'll understand just how frustrating it is to be in our shoes. And they can't ignore it.

Well Look at Howard!
Thu Apr 9 2009 13:05
If a student is caught smoking in the towers then they are immediately asked to leave the towers. If a student is caught violating visitation rights they are asked to leave and Oh I got one more... If you are late on your rent for whatever reason then Mr. Robert Bland and his staff is walking to your dorm room dressed in a Stevey Harvey Suit witha brite Colgate toothpaste smile either sliding a note under your door or publicly telling you that you have one day to get all of your belongings out of "His" building. You know what else is sad....... To African American men who are trying to get a education at historic foundation that is known around the world! almost lost there lives cause the faculty on watch that night couldn't get on the elevator in there own building where they pay rent!!!!!!! The hold entire staff at the towers need to be relieved of duty!!!!! All of them!!!! They don't care about you at all!!! All they want is your money and they don't care if have to be a night dancer and a pole dipper at the penthouse up the street on GA Ave! Mr. President do something Sir!!!!!! It doesn't matter if the students GPA is a 1.0 to a 5.0!! It is a human being. I bet if the situation involved two women something "Might" have happen. It's really sad.... Mr. Freelow isn't going to do a damn thing but sit at his desk surrounded by his Redskins pictures and his family and trophies and check to see who owes the towers money. It's sad. The police is girl watching and sleeping at the gate on campus looking crazy! This is a society problem! Wow I did learn something in my sociology class given by Dr. Livingston..... This is sad..... Howard University.... This is the reaaaaal HU.
Your name
Thu Apr 9 2009 12:55
So campus police is still a hot mess. 4 years later, not surprised...
Your name
Thu Apr 9 2009 12:31
Everyone involved should be fired!!!!! If a student smokes in the towers they are asked to leave and if a student has violated visitation then guess what the students are asked to leave the towers. Oh I got one more If a student is late on the rent Mr. Robert Bland is knocking on your door dressed down to the nine like he built the towers and he owns the property with a smile on his face telling you that you that you have one day to get all of your belongings out of "his" building.... It's sad that the victims couldn't get assistance from no one in a timely manner!!!!!! This is why the Morale on Howard Campus is at it's all time low!!!! God forbid if the students had gotten killed right at the damn elevator where the Towers Staff wouldn't let them in.............. Howard University... The Real HU! (sad)
Veronica Carter
Thu Apr 9 2009 12:07
Here we are yet again dealing with more crime behind the west towers where MY daughter resides! ....WHO, by the way, can no longer park there because of a business deal with the city. Now she gets to park further away, risk her car getting broken into again and NOW further exposes her to criminals who can spot her and do only God knows what.
Out of all the potential dangerous areas surrounding the campus, this should indicate the West and East Towers are high targeted areas and should be only the beginning of several campus areas to undergo refurbishment to protect ALL of our college students. THanks for adding more stress to my days....Sincerely, A worried Out-of-State Parent!
Thu Apr 9 2009 11:34
Campus Police needs to be more sensitive to the needs of the students. If the suspects would have came back to get these young ladies the school would have been giving their parents lame excuses. The campus police needs more training.
Pissed @ Howard All Together
Thu Apr 9 2009 11:00
Campus police, university officials, howard police...whatever they like to be called these days, have been a joke on campus since I've been here. Extremely incompetent to guard a fly, none of these lazy idiots have their priorities straight when it comes to policing this campus. Instead of building relationships with the young ladies on the campus and experimenting with their new segways, they need to address the issue of their inability to effectively serve the Howard community.
Thu Apr 9 2009 10:54
The security guard should be fired immediately for poor judgement that further endangered the lives of students; and the University should revisit its procedures to ensure this situation is address properly by University security in the future.
Your name
Thu Apr 9 2009 10:36
Absolutely insane. Tell me why I attend this embarrassment of a university?
Southeast Soldier
Thu Apr 9 2009 10:33
That security guard needs to stop smoking.

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