Assaults have SU-area neighborhoods on alert

Following assaults of Salisbury University students during the past two weekends, university police are urging students not to walk or jog alone after dark, to stay in groups and to immediately call police if they have an incident.

University Police Chief Edwin Lashley issued an e-mail about the assaults, which occurred near an off-campus apartment complex and on sidewalks near the SU tennis courts.

Both are being investigated by University Police, as well as the Salisbury Police Department, Lashley said.

One incident occurred at 2 a.m. Sunday and led to the arrest of an 18-year-old man and five juvenile females, according to Salisbury Police. The victim, a 20-year-old woman, was assaulted and her cell phone was stolen, police said.

Police said they responded to Bateman and South Division streets for a reported assault and robbery. They met with witnesses and the victim.

Investigation revealed the victim and her friends were walking east on Bateman Street approaching South Division Street. As the victim and her friends approached Wayne Street, they passed a group of people sitting on a street curb along Bateman Street.

In the group were Dontrae Nathaniel Robinson, 18; four 16-year-old females; and a 15-year-old female, police said.

Those in the group yelled derogatory remarks and profanities at the victim and her  friends, police said.

The victim stopped to address them, but her friends continued to walk.

Police said a man approached the victim and punched her one time, in the face, which caused her to fall to the ground. While she lay on the ground, the male and female juveniles punched and kicked her, then took her phone.

The assailants then ran away.

A description of the suspects was broadcast to additional officers and within minutes police located them at Spring and Pryor avenues. The suspects were identified as same people who assaulted the victim, police said.

Police arrested Robinson.

While officers tried to arrest three of the females, the other two tried to stop them. One of the females spit on the arresting officer, police said.

A disorderly crowd grew while officers tried to make arrests. The Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office and Maryland State Police quickly responded and assisted, police said.

All six subjects were arrested. Robinson was charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, theft, disorderly conduct, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery, police said.

The 15-year-old juvenile was charged with robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and disturbing the peace, police said.

The four 16-year-old juveniles were charged with disorderly conduct; disorderly conduct, second-degree assault and obstructing and hindering; robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, theft  and resisting arrest; and robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, second-degree assault, theft, reckless endangerment and resisting arrest, police said.

The two juvenile females were released to their guardians and the others were taken to the Lower Shore Juvenile Justice Center, where they are being held, police said.

The victim was treated and released at Peninsula Regional Medical Center, police said.

The other incident occurred around 1 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2, on Bateman Street near the Route 13 tunnel, according to a University Police report.

A female student told police she saw a large group of females and males walking behind her and a male encouraged another male, identified by police as Kiante Cannon, 20, to touch her buttocks, police said.

The woman raised her arm in defense and a man punched her in the right arm and threatened to beat her, police said.

Around 1:11 a.m., police found Cannon near Wayne Street. He was charged with second-degree assault and fourth-degree sex offense, according to University Police.

Cannon was held on $20,000 bail, police said.

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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