Gunman assaults Rowan U. students

GLASSBORO, N.J. - November 11, 2008 The students were attacked near a gazebo on campus around 12:45 a.m. The attackers robbed the students at gunpoint, then punched and kicked one of the victims.

10 minutes later, three men fitting the same description robbed and struck another student as he walked alone to his apartment at Campus Crossings.

Police Chief Alex Fanfarillo says stealing from college students doesn't yield much money. He thinks there is more to the crimes.

"I just think there's a reason they did it, a reason they chose who they did, and there's deeper meaning behind it than just robbery. I think they were trying to prove a point," Chief Fanfarillo said.

Fanfarillo does not believe there is any connection to the unsolved murder of Donald Farrell just over a year ago. He was attacked by five men. There is a $100,00 reward in that case.

One of the victims from Tuesday morning's attack is an Iraq War veteran, now in his senior year at Rowan.

"They're on a mission to hurt you and steal from you if they want something from you," said Laruen Blose, a friend of the veteran. "It's a shame there are people like that in the world. Mike's a great guy, and it's a shame things like that happen to good people."

Rowan has instituted number of safety initiatives, but students say sometimes you just can't stop the criminals.

"I try to be on my cell phone all the time, I carry my mace with me after dark," said student Leah Walker.

"Normally I walk by myself, coming back from my friends, and I was shocked when they said it was that close to us. I expected it to be outside of campus, not that close," said student Tristan Pillari.

Police say there was yet another robbery, that of a Chinese food deliveryman around11:00 Monday night. They police chief believes that could also be related.

In at least one of the robberies, the men escaped in a tan, 4-door sedan.

The students who were attacked will be okay.

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