Classes in session despite stabbing at Herkimer County Community College

Dana C. Silano

Campus security at Herkimer County Community College is cracking down even harder as it continues investigating two separate and unrelated assaults on students that occurred at the college this past weekend.

Herkimer police confirmed this morning that there had been a stabbing, however, directed any questions to the college, as campus safety and not the Herkimer Police Department were involved in the investigation.

Although the details of the incidents have not yet been released, the two incidents occurred late Saturday evening and early Sunday morning.

The two victims involved, whose names are not being released, were males who were treated locally for non-life-threatening injuries and released, according to HCCC Director of Public Relations Michele Barrett. Barrett declined to comment on whether or not there was a suspect named, however, did mention that campus security was currently taking statements regarding the incidents. She also said a meeting later Monday would reveal additional details in the investigations, and she was not sure what if that information would be released to the public.

“I need to clarify that at any college campus, you should always be conscious of safety, regardless of what happens and doesn’t happen,” Barrett said. “Certainly this is cause for concern from the standpoint of safety, but to suggest that there is a rash of crime through the campus isn’t accurate. Both incidents are serious and unrelated, and we see this as an opportunity to remind students of the steps they should take to stay out of situations like this.”

Barrett added that Dean of Students Matthew R. Hawes has been steadily involved in the investigation since the first incident on Saturday night.

Implications point at a student as the alleged assailant. “[Hawes] is looking at violations to the college’s code of student conduct,” Barrett said. “These charges will be taken very serious within the campus judicial system.”

Barrett said that the school is advising students to take the necessary precautions to avoid confrontational situations, and have been taught so during new student orientation sessions, held at the beginning of each semester. “A lot of students are away from home and their families for the first time ever, and it’s characteristic during orientation to discuss safety and security with them,” she said.