Saturday, April 05, 2008

Columbia graduate student killed fleeing mugging attempt

I heard about this very sad event yesterday.

A Columbia grad student was killed fleeing from an attempted mugging. He ran into traffic and was hit by a car, ultimately passing away from his injuries.

Although I (and most of my classmates) do feel very safe at Columbia, the fact of the matter is that we are in an urban environment, and these things can (and do) happen.

This is a message that Lee Bollinger just sent out about the incident:

I am writing to share very sad news about one of our graduate students.

Last night a PhD student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences,
Minghui Yu, was struck by an automobile two blocks north of our main
campus at 122nd Street and Broadway while he was apparently fleeing an
attempted robbery on the sidewalk. The student was taken to
St. Luke's Hospital but passed away as a result of the severe injuries
he had sustained.

An NYPD investigation is underway and is being supported by the
University's Department of Public Safety which, last night following
university procedures, circulated an alert to student affairs deans at
all of our schools with information about possible suspects in the
attempted robbery.

As a community we mourn the loss of one of our members, and especially
of a young person with much to look forward to in a life of
promise. The University's counseling services are available to anyone
who feels he or she could benefit from expert support in response to
this deeply sad event. Please do not hesitate to visit Counseling and
Psychological Services on the 8th floor of Lerner Hall today from 1:00
- 5:00 p.m., or call at any time 212.854.2878 if you feel such
assistance would be helpful to you.

While incidents of crime have been significantly reduced in New York
over recent decades, and the area of Morningside Heights is within one
of the safest precincts in the city, it is nevertheless imperative
that we all take reasonable precautions appropriate to life in a large
metropolitan environment. Our Department of Public Safety has worked
closely with the NYPD in safeguarding members of our University
Community and offers a range of services -- including safety escorts,
evening shuttle buses and directed patrols -- that help ensure
students, faculty and staff can both be, and feel, secure while
living, studying and working here. We constantly review and seek to
improve public safety operations. If you would like more information
on these services, go to:, or call

The family of the graduate student has been notified. We will begin
plans for a memorial event on campus. For today, I know we are united
as a community in mourning the tragic loss of a young life.

Lee C. Bollinger


Anonymous said...

It never fails to amaze me that kids like that are not punished more severely. The MURDERER's family insisted that this was a child's play. When in the world did such hate and violence become child's play? It was no manslaughter. It was a hate crime and murder, and just because the perpetrator is a minor by no means lessens the intension and the degree of the crime...

What in the world could these criminals contribute to our society other than adding burden to social welfare, wasting government and tax payers' money. Let them rot in jail forever!

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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