Almost a month after a Trinity College student was brutally attacked in the middle of the night just outside campus, it’s still not clear who his assailants were. College administrators have demanded better security in the surrounding neighborhood, frustrating nearby residents who say they’ve been unfairly blamed time and again. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports on their reactions.
Anthony Padilla has run the Connecti-cuts barber shop in Hartford’s Frog Hollow neighborhood for 16 years. He’s been cutting Trinity College students’ hair since he opened up the shop and has a friendly relationship with many of them. But he was frustrated when Trinity students held a rally demanding better campus safety after student Chris Kenny was assaulted on March 4. Padilla wishes they would pay more attention to the violence happening outside the campus gates.
PADILLA: “We got people getting beat up all the time out here. Ain’t no rallies for them. Why don’t they do a rally just for the outsiders? Do some rallies for us?”
“Outsiders” is a label many here at Padilla’s barbershop use to describe themselves in relation to Trinity students, who they call “insiders.” And the accusations that have flown around about who’s responsible for the attack on Kenny have only made that relationship more strained. David Velez, who’s lived in Hartford for 35 years, says that anytime a student is the victim of a crime, the police immediately suspect Frog Hollow residents.
VELEZ: “We could just be walking and we fit the description, and the cops are going to come and pull us over. Instead of going to the school and really checking out what’s going on.”
After the assault, administrators sent out an email suggesting the incident was a robbery. But police have told the Hartford Courant that's not the case. And one unconfirmed report online says the assailants were Trinity students. Truck driver Quentin Dowdell has lived in Hartford for 42 years. He says college officials and the Hartford police need to do a better job.
DOWDELL: “Look! Look, do your investigation before you let anything out. Get your facts together.”
Police are still investigating the case, and Trinity College and Chris Kenny’s family are offering a $10,000 reward for information that would lead to an arrest.