U student hit by Campus Connector bus

by Kevin Behr

A Campus Connector hit a University student Tuesday and drove away without stopping.

Estefania Alvarez, a psychology and translation and interpreting senior, started crossing Washington Avenue Southeast to stop her car from being towed when the bus hit her, she said.

“The Campus Connector was going so fast,” Alvarez said.

It knocked her to the ground and the last wheel ran over her hand, she said. Alvarez suffered three broken bones and underwent surgery on her hand.

Alvarez asked a witness to stop the tow truck from taking her car away, but he could not catch it, said University police Lt. Charles Miner.

“There are a few car-versus-bicycle accidents,” Miner said. “But it’s fairly unusual that a car hits a pedestrian.”

University police located and interviewed the driver of the bus, Miner said. The case is still under investigation and police don’t know whether criminal charges will be filed, he said.

Auto thefts in area

In the past week, four vehicles have been stolen in the University campus area.

The thefts spanned from Cedar Avenue South on the West Bank to 13th Avenue Southeast in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood.

Dave Bucklin, a cultural studies and comparative literature part-time student, said his motorcycle was stolen Sept. 9.

Thieves stole his motorcycle from the parking lot of his apartment on University Avenue Southeast, Bucklin said.

“It was parked in a corner that’s not very accessible,” he said.

Ariel Dumas, a Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs admissions assistant, said someone stole her 1995 Saturn on Cedar Avenue South while she was working Monday.

“I don’t know why anyone would take it,” she said. “It was filled with garbage.”

The other two thefts occurred near Dinkytown.

Automobile thefts are fairly rare on campus because parking access is limited primarily to garages, Miner said.

Drivers can protect their vehicles by always locking their doors, Miner said.

“Having an alarm is good,” he said. “The Club is a good deterrent, too.”

Former student mugged

Two unknown assailants mugged a former University student early Sunday.

Cody Castillo, who last attended University classes in spring 2005, was attacked near 14th Avenue Southeast in the Southeast Como Neighborhood about 2 a.m. Sunday, he said.

Castillo was walking alone to his car when he heard footsteps from behind, he said.

“I turned around and this guy tackled me,” he said. A second attacker appeared and the two punched and kicked Castillo while he was on the ground, he said.

The men stole Castillo’s wallet and ran away, but no money was inside, he said.

“They didn’t really get anything out of the deal,” he said.

Robberies like these have been more common lately, Miner said. He encouraged the use of the University escort service and urged people to avoid walking alone, especially at night.