Tom Wedig was walking to his girlfriend’s house late Monday night when he was attacked by three men.
“I was walking down the [Fredonia Avenue] alley when I heard running behind me,” he said. “I turned around and knew what was going on.”
Wedig’s first reaction, he said, was to get defensive. That’s when he saw the second man.
“The second guy came up and punched me in my throat,” he said. “That’s when I ran to Sigma Chi … and called the police. It was fight then flight.”
The men never asked for money and Wedig informed them right off the bat he had nothing to give them, so the incident is legally classified as a battery.
Peoria and University police arrived on the scene within minutes of the 911 call. The area was searched with negative results.
According to police reports, there were actually three men, though Wedig never saw the third. The third was seen by witnesses and security camera footage. All were dressed in blue shirts and jeans.
Possibly the most alarming part of the incident was the number of people who saw the men loitering, approaching cars, approaching groups of people and walking around the greek houses, all without calling police.
A few said they saw the men start to approach them, but then backed off when they realized it was a group of people. Others saw the men walking on Fredonia, all before the altercation with Wedig.
“People should call whenever something just doesn’t feel right,” said Dave Baer, University Police chief.
Anyone who sees a suspicious person can call either (309)677.2000, which is routed directly to BUPD dispatchers, or 911.
After what happened Tuesday, Wedig too said he believes people need to speak up when they feel something’s suspicious.
“If they see suspicious people, just keep an open eye,” he said. “Tell people you see that there are [strange] people walking down an alley. Just let someone know.”
Thankfully, Wedig didn’t need medical attention.
That doesn’t mean the BUPD isn’t taking the incident seriously.
On Thursday, Baer met with a few greek leaders to inform them university police will be starting more patrols out in the neighborhood surrounding Fredonia.
“We’re going to treat it as a sort of mini-district,” Baer said. “It’s something we’ve done in the pass, and it was successful.”
In the meantime, though, Theta Chi, which Wedig is the president of, purchased pepper spray and is selling it to students at a wholesale price.