Two men armed with nunchucks and a baseball bat were caught and arrested for robbing a 19-year-old male on the 400 block of N. Frances St early Tuesday morning. According to the Madison Police Department, the perpetrators were Hugo Diaz, 25, of Sun Prairie and Cristobal Jimenez-Montes, 20, of Madison.
The victim was walking down the sidewalk at 12:14 a.m. when he was struck in the head with a small baseball bat, said Joel DeSpain, public information officer for MPD. Two men dragged him 10 feet away from the sidewalk, kicked him repeatedly, stole his wallet and then fled the scene. The victim did not suffer any significant injuries, DeSpain said.
Around 1 a.m., DeSpain said an ?observant officer? patrolling the 200 block of Langdon Street saw two men who fit the victim?s description of the suspected robbers.
The officer found a baseball bat, nunchucks and the victim?s wallet on the suspects and arrested them on charges of robbery, recklessly endangering safety and carrying a concealed weapon.
Rene Gonzalez, the new neighborhood officer for Langdon Street as of Feb. 3, said it is extremely important for students to understand how they can avoid being victimized.
?Walking alone by yourself at night makes you an easy target,? Gonzalez said. ?Watch where you walk and what time you walk to make it less desirable or harder for people to victimize you.?
Langdon Street sees a lot of pedestrian traffic weekend nights, especially from all the fraternity and sorority houses along the street, Gonzalez said. Residents on Langdon Street change frequently, which Gonzalez said makes it difficult to keep everyone informed on safety precautions.
To curtail personal crimes and burglaries citywide, Gonzalez said MPD has a non-call driven Community Policing Team who patrol the downtown area and use ?proactive enforcement? to prevent crimes.
?Since the CPT does not respond to many calls for service, they have time to target crime patterns in the city,? Gonzalez added.
The Neighborhood Safety Walk Program, another safety initiative focused on Langdon Street started in 2006 with members of the Greek community volunteering to accompany police officers to walk up and down Langdon Street on weekend nights to keep the peace.
The walk program originally worked from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays but extended hours to 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. to accommodate bar-time at 2:30 a.m., Gonzalez said.
The walk program stopped running for a while because of officer transitions, but Gonzalez said he hopes the watch will be up-and-running in the next week or two.
Gonzalez said he hopes students will realize their individual roles in preventing victimization from Monday?s armed robbery.