Students, drugs and guns: Who are you going to call when your drug deal goes bad?

By Dawelo Sears – 

Tarleton’s most recent annual crime report paints a picture of a campus with barely any violent crime.  In 2011, for example, only one violent crime was recorded, an aggravated assault. There have been no robberies between 2009 and 2011.

However, other violent crimes take place within a few feet of campus – and are sometimes never reported. For example, on Oct. 1, two Tarleton freshmen and two other men were involved in a drug robbery less than 50 feet from campus between the Dairy Queen at 1601 West Washington Street and Neebo’s Bookstore.

The crime wasn’t reported to campus or Stephenville police because all four men had been trying to sell small amounts of marijuana on or near campus, the two students said. The two students were in a parked car between Dairy Queen and Neebo when the non-students got into the back seat for a drug deal.

When the students passed a jar of marijuana to the men in the back seat, one of the men pulled a gun and threatened the pair. “All right guys, this is how it’s going to go,” one robber said while pointing a gun at the head of the student in the front passenger seat. “We’re going to take the weed and you’re not going to do a damn thing about it.” The robbery took place shortly after sunset and was witnessed by a reporter, who subsequently interviewed the two students.

The students said the robbers took about a quarter ounce of marijuana worth $120. One of the students said he has seen one of the two suspects on campus since the robbery. The second student says he found the names, phone numbers and home addresses of the two robbers on Facebook. Although it was dark, lights from the Dairy Queen and the bookstore had the area well-lit. “Because it was such a lit area I wouldn’t have thought that anyone would have the guts to pull a move like that,” one of the students said.

Both students portrayed themselves as small-time dealers who intended selling only enough to pay for the marijuana they personally used. Tarleton Police Chief Justin Williams said his office would have alerted the campus community about the drug robbery if he had known about it. “The notification that a serious crime has occurred near campus, and one in which the safety of the campus community is possibly threatened, the University Police Department would immediately act to send a crime alert bulletin,” he said. “The purpose of the bulletin would be to inform the campus of the incident so that all security measures could be taken.”

Williams said his officers have issued recent crime alerts for two near campus crimes reported to police – one a robbery near Subway in which two arrests were made and another at Bosque Crossing in which a man touched a woman in an inappropriate manner. Both of those cases, unlike the drug robbery, were reported to police. “But if the crime goes unreported,  then we can’t do anything,” Williams said.

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