Two UM students robbed at gunpoint

UMPD car parked on Ponce De Leon Blvd. and Stanford Drive while victims Rivera and Kurz are interviewed. Steven Stuts//Asst. Photo Editor
UMPD car parked on Ponce De Leon Blvd. and Stanford Drive while victims Rivera and Kurz are interviewed. Steven Stuts//Asst. Photo Editor

Students Christian Rivera and Aaron Kurz were robbed at gunpoint on the middle of Ponce de Leon Boulevard between the Serpentine parking lot by the BankUnited Center and the Metrorail Tuesday night as they were returning from the AmericanAirlines Arena in downtown.

The incident occurred at approximately 10:39 p.m. A white male revealed a small handgun hidden beneath his backpack, pointed it at the two students and said, “Give us everything.”  Rivera lost his phone, wallet and keys in the incident while Kurz handed over only his wallet to the criminals.

“They walked off as if nothing happened,” Rivera said.

Both victims described the three robbers as  “like college students” because of their manner and appearance when approaching them in the middle of the street.

“I thought they looked taller than me but it might have been because he was coming over the curb,” Rivera said to UMPD. “I crouched down because he was putting a gun to my head.”

Reporters for The Miami Hurricane saw UMPD pointing flash lights at the canals in front of the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center at around 11 p.m. UM police stated that a woman at the Wellness Center witnessed three men matching the description provided by the victims leaving the vicinity in a vehicle.

At approximately 11:30 p.m. the Coral Gables campus was placed on lockdown. This did not come as a surprise to Rivera.

“I expected it because last year my high school friend got robbed at gunpoint,” he said.  “I assumed it would go on lockdown due to safety precautions.”

A police officer wearing a bullet-proof vest was seen at the corner of Stanford Residential College and Lake Osceola, directing students to take shelter inside of Stanford immediately.

Coral Gables Police Department detained three suspects, all who are confirmed to be involved in the incident, around 1:30 a.m. at Marius St. and US1. The crime scene weapon was in the possession of the arrested men.

Although a press release Wednesday from CGPD confirmed that all suspects from the crime were arrested, there are conflicting reports of the description of the criminals. Rivera and Kurz had described two black men and one white male at the scene of the crime, while two white men and one black male were arrested.

The Miami Hurricane has no reports of text messages or phone calls via the Emergency Notification Network as of 1:53 a.m. Wednesday morning.

UMPD reported that the lockdown was a precautionary measure because of the proximity to campus, but the status of the campus is safe. Students trapped within locked buildings were expressing frustration at the fact that no central information was sent to students. The lockdown endured for almost an hour before students were released.

The investigation remains ongoing between UMPD and the Coral Gables Police Department.