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MIT Worker Victim of Mugging; CPs SAy Robbery Is Off Campus

By Stacey E. Blau
News Editor

An MIT employee was mugged on Wadsworth Street on the far east side of campus at about 6:30 a.m. last Wednesday.

Constance L. Emanuel, an administrative assistant at the Sloan School of Management, was walking from Kendall Square down Wadsworth Street to Amherst Street, where she works in Building E40, when she was approached from behind by the perpetrator.

"Someone tugged on my purse, and I turned around to see what was going on, and the person poked me in the right eye," Emanuel said. The purse fell down, and "the person picked it up and ran," she said. The attacker was not armed, she said.

Emanuel said that the robbery occurred right outside of Building E40 on Wadsworth Street. The building houses offices of the Sloan School as well as parts of Information Systems and other programs.

But according to Campus Police, the attack took place further up Wadsworth Street at the parking lot across from 51 Wadsworth St.

Cambridge Police place the incident even closer to Kendall Square, at the intersection between Wadsworth Street and Main Street, said Frank Pasquarello, public information officer for the Cambridge Police.

The perpetrator was about six feet tall and was wearing a a blue coat, blue jeans, and gloves, Emanuel said. Although Emanuel claimed that she was unable to identify the sex of her attacker, a Campus Police report states that the perpetrator was male. The Cambridge Police have no suspects, Pasquarello said.

Mugging classified as off campus

Although the crime took place on a sidewalk right outside MIT property, the Campus Police have classified the incident as an off-campus crime, and Cambridge Police have handled the case. Both departments responded to the initial call.

The portion of the sidewalk on which the mugging took place is owned by Cambridge, as is most of Wadsworth Street, Pasquarello said.

Cambridge and MITeach own some of the streets in the MIT area. The owner "depends from street to street," Pasquarello said. "Cambridge and MIT may each own different parts of one street," he said. "It could vary from one foot to the next. Every spot is different."

Wadsworth Street is owned by Cambridge, but Carleton Street, two blocks over, is owned by MIT, said Chief of Campus Police Anne P.Glavin.

The CPs responded to the incident even though it was not on campus. In general, the CPs will respond to any incident that takes place in the MIT area and even some in non-MIT areas of Cambridge when the Cambridge Police are busy, Glavin said.

Since the mugging officially took place off campus, it will not be reported in the annual crime statistics, Glavin said.

"Everything that we report [on campus] is what occurred on MIT" property," Glavin said. In recent years, the number of robberies at and around MIT has been low. There were four robberies on campus in 1993 and 1992, three near campus in 1993, and two near campus in 1992.

The 1995 Campus Police Annual Report is currently being prepared, Glavin said.

Emanuel scared by incident

"I'm a little more scared now than before," Emanuel said. "I'm always looking now."

After the mugging, Emanuel went to her office and called the CPs, who quickly responded and were followed by Cambridge Police.

"I was happy the way they handled the incident," Emanuel said.

Emanuel did not sustain any serious injuries from the incident, but a Cambridge Police cruiser took her to the Medical Center. "My eye was all swollen" for a few days, Emanuel said. "It still hurts."

"The person was just waiting for someone" to attack, Emanuel said. "It didn't have to be me."

Emanuel, who used to work earlier hours, has changed her hours. "I'm coming in when it's lighter," she said. "I'm being more careful."

Daniel C. Stevenson contributed to the reporting of this story.