Teenagers attack junior at bus stop
By Andrea Lamberti
A group of eight black teenagers attacked and injured an MIT student in front of the Stratton Student Center on Wednesday afternoon. Brian E. Dunkel '92 said his remarks telling them to pay to ride the Massachusetts Ave. bus incited them to a confrontation.
One of the eight, Carl Foster, faces two charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, Campus Police Chief Anne P. Glavin said. The two weapons were his foot and a plastic wiffle ball bat, which he used to strike Dunkel on the head, witnesses said.
Dunkel sustained two hairline fractures in his jaw, a third in his left shoulder, and a chipped tooth.
The Campus Police believe the group was on campus in connection with the Third Annual Black College Fair, held in the Johnson Athletic Center Wednesday morning. The executive director of the Black Achievers Organization, the fair's sponsor, was unavailable to comment yesterday.
Over 1300 high school students attended the fair, but no records were kept and people did not register at the door, said Judy Jackson Pitts, assistant dean for student affairs.
The college fair was otherwise uneventful, Glavin said. "I have no reason to believe that this was racially motivated. . . . There were no racial comments or overtones."
Struggle at MBTA bus doors
developed into blows
The teenagers were attempting to enter the No. 1 Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority bus at the bus stop near Bexley Hall as Dunkel was leaving the bus, at approximately 1:30 pm. Dunkel was carrying a large box and blocking their entry at the rear doors.
Dunkel pushed his way off the bus and through the group of youths, and "told them to go to the front of the bus and pay to get on," he said.
Lisa Heller-Schoenberg G, who was standing behind Dunkel on the bus, said Dunkel "started saying things like `Get off
the bus. Go pay your 50 cents. What do you guys think you're doing?' "
Dunkel did not deny making comments of this sort.
At first Dunkel tried to walk away from the scene, witnesses said. But after one youth followed him and asked, "What are you trying to be -- a hero?" Dunkel engaged in a dialogue with the group, according to Heller-Schoenberg.
One person then struck Dunkel "upside the head" a few times, Dunkel said. Then another person attacked him from behind, and struck forcefully at the back of his head, according to a witness who wished to remain anonymous.
Once he was on the ground, the teenagers continued to assault Dunkel, and Foster "whaled" him on the head several times with the wiffle ball bat, the anonymous witness said.
The group then ran into the bus, which was still sitting at the station, but then reemerged moments before the Campus Police arrived at the scene. The group then fled to the alley between Buildings 33 and 9, and the police headed them off near Building 12.
The CPs apprehended all eight, but witnesses could only positively identify Foster.
A vicious and unusual attack
The anonymous witness described the events as "kind of unusual and kind of vicious."
He said none of the bystanders attempted to stop the incident from proceeding any further. "It happened pretty quick," he said. "Who was going to offer help while this guy was getting physically beaten?"
Dunkel said he was not as upset about the incident as people might think. "Of course I'm glad I'm alive, and [that] none of them had anything worse than a wiffle bat."
If he had not spoken to the youths while he was getting off the bus, there might not have been a violent confrontation, Dunkel felt. "If I had just [moved through the group] I probably would have been fine."