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.

November 11, 2009


Anna Timmons

Editor In Chief

28 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Two UM students robbed at gunpoint”

  1. Brian Schlansky says:


    Due to heavy traffic on the site last night, I had to temporarily lock out off campus traffic for a short time while we updated it. You may have been trying to access it during this window. When the story was updated, we opened it back up to all traffic. I apologize for any inconvenience.

    -Brian Schlansky

  2. Daniela says:

    Why were commuter students not notified of this? We do not live on campus but that doesn’t mean we are not around, or walking from the library to our cars, or even getting out of class at night. We are at the same risk as the students who lived on campus, or even grater.

    I was not able to access the Miami Hurricane from my house, does anyone know why?

  3. Ken Karbeling says:

    As a parent, who subscribes to your updates in an effort to know what is happening around campus, I thank you folks at the Miami Hurricane for your efforts. I frequently let my son know about the info you send out. I am glad I signed to be on your list. Keep up the good work!

  4. James says:

    If these students had been carrying legal concealed firearms, then this entire incident could have been resolved long before the suspects escaped. Don’t fool yourself, this is Miami and you take your life into your hands if you are not armed. If someone attempts to rob me with a weapon, I consider that my life is in grave danger, and you can mark my words that they will not be robbing anyone else ever again.

  5. ryan says:

    How can the university not issue the alert system. what if i was in that area at a restaurant or just outside on campus in general. i was walking to the c-store when a friend alerted me of the situation. I had no idea there were armed robbers on campus. to put so much effort into an emergency alert system and not use it when there are dangerous people around is just plain stupid. i was inside a building most of the time, and had no idea that this was even happening. if i had been outside during all of this, who knows i might have run into the gunman himself.

  6. Jessie S says:

    must be nice to give me no warning police department, it would be nice to have a conformation text instead of texting rumors from my friends

  7. Bobby says:

    The kids were walking from the Metro to Mahoney and got robbed by people coming from the direction of Stanford. That’s on the Ponce side of the BUC, and not particularly close to the BUC at all.

    Then, some woman at the Wellness Center saw these crooks jumping into a car near the BUC. That’s on the opposite side of the BUC.

    Sounds like the robbers walked/ran from somewhere between the Metro stop and Mahoney all the way to Dickinson Dr in between the BUC and the Wellness Center. This is assuming that the Hurricane is getting all the facts correct. Did the woman see them near the Wellness Center or did she see them on the other side of the BUC and then run to the Wellness Center?

    That’s not a short walk, and based on where the robbers ran, it sounds like they might have been UM students unless the Vanguard/Parking people weren’t doing their job and looking for cars without parking passes/decals in the UM lots.

  8. anonymous says:

    I don’t understand how the university can be this stupid. the library was not on lockdown, no one was notified of the lockdown or the robbery, and police are no longer patrolling and are no longer outside of residential colleges/there is no more lockdown. what is going on?

  9. Disappointed Cane says:


    My friends and I were outside studying near the UC area and something horrible could’ve happened! We didn’t get the famous UM emergency text message, if it wouldn’t have been for a friend’s roommate, who knows what could’ve happened! I’m really disappointed. We come to this school thinking it’s safe and we pay a lot to come here…to find out that there’s no successful way of warning in case of an emergency.

    UM is lucky that nobody got hurt tonight…FIX THE TXT ALERTS!

  10. Student says:

    The university of Miami should be ashamed that they didn’t notify the university community through the text message system that they tested so many times. Rediculous

  11. Dorm Room Petrified says:

    Okay, that makes more sense but either way the EAS should have still been on their job by sending out the texts. People are still walking around campus like nothing happened because they dont know whats going on and the school will get the finger if something happens to them.

  12. CaneFan says:

    While not everyone is signed up for the Miami Hurricane emails, everyone is signed up for the Emergency texts, which did not go out.

  13. Greg Linch says:

    @Dorm Room Petrified: As Caroline said, only people who sign up for text alerts on receive them — The Hurricane doesn’t have access to UM’s database.

  14. Caroline says:

    Not everyone is signed up for Miami hurricane texting.

    I find this absolutely ridiculous. People at University Village were letting others into the buildings without a care in the world because no one besides those in dorms had ANY idea about what was going on.

    As usual, the University of Miami is all bark and no bite when it comes to anything important!

  15. CaneFan says:

    I had to find out from a friend’s facebook status, then about 3 minutes after that I got the Miami Hurricane email. Still nothing from the university. This is completely unacceptable. Thank you Miami Hurricane for being on top of things. As a Stanford resident, I could see the cop cars by the IM fields from my window and was completely confused for a while. I still can’t believe the university hasn’t reacted at all.

  16. Nick says:

    I had just gotten back to my building in the UV when the sirens started. I stood in front of my building for awhile. When a cop came down my street, he stopped and told me and my friend that there were 3 armed robbers on the loose, one white male and two black males. He told us to call if we saw or heard anything else and told us to go inside.

  17. Dorm Room Petrified says:

    okay so i would like to know why TMH was the first to send out texts about the situation while the EAS didn’t and still hasn’t done anything! Granted TMH didn’t text everybody, they did a fair amount of people to get the word started on facebook to let everyone else know. They need to be on top of things where peoples lives are at stake!

  18. SP says:

    got the text message as breaking news from the miami hurricane

  19. Greg Linch says:

    How did everyone first hear about the news? I’m an alum and got a text message, then the breaking news e-mail (disclosure: I’m a former Hurricane staffer/editor and just curious).

  20. Scared to death says:

    I was lying in the grass forever when I finally became aware of the fact that NOBODY was around….

    Little did I know that some guys with guns are walking around on campus. Thanks for the notifications and warnings UMiami. I am greatly disappointed, as safety and wellness are said to be the U’s number one concern.

  21. Ron Mexico says:

    Well, that explains why there were cops as I was making my way home tonight..

  22. critical says:

    the university should realize that everyone is more likely to panic from being kept in without being told why. Not activating the emergency text system is a huge mistake

  23. UV Resident says:

    No text message, no email, no officers outside. We’re relatively close to the Wellness Center out at the UV, and I would’ve had no idea what was going if I hadn’t found out from Facebook. Where was the EAS?

  24. Concerned says:

    I agree with everyone. You’d think that after that entire alert system “testing,” we might get notified that someone is on campus with a gun. But no such luck. Thanks UM for not using my tuition wisely…

  25. Frank says:

    well i sure am comforted that the school made good use of that emergency texting procedure…

    oh wait.

  26. SP says:

    It’s crazy how the emergency alert system WASNT activated…like seriously

  27. Greg says:

    @Worried: The suspect is believed to still be on campus, according the article.

  28. Worried says:

    Do you know if they caught anyone yet? Or is that all police gave you?

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.