String of assaults, vandalism, crime at Hilltop Townhomes
By Abigail O’Brien
With a high demand for housing on NAU campus, the newly built Hilltop Townhomes had an immediate waiting list last year. Upon promoting the new Hilltop Townhouses, the website offered a section for parents to “give your student that lifestyle they want — give yourself a peace of mind.” A month into school, that utopical ideal has been shaken after a string of crime.
The biggest offense thus far occurred over Family Weekend at 3 a.m. on Sept. 30. Several minors gathered in one of the units and engaged in underage drinking, possession of marijuana and paraphernalia, according to police.
An 18-year-old male who was not a student was also present at the Townhomes. As the evening progressed it became clear to many of the guests the teen was becoming aggressive. When he was told to leave by sophomore Sarah Fravel, one of the renters of the unit, the male punched a hole in the wall, threw a chair and proceeded to damage the property.
Northern Arizona University Police Department (NAUPD) was called to the site by two different anonymous sources. Upon arrival they saw the male on the floor covered in blood. According to the police report, he was highly intoxicated and his behavior was considered to be hostile.
The male was taken to the hospital and was released the next morning with minor injuries and no recollection of his belligerent behavior from the previous night. He was then booked into Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and charged for aggravated assault of a police officer and medical enforcement (six counts), trespassing, criminal damage, disorderly conduct and minor in consumption of alcohol.
The others present at the party were also charged with minor in consumption.
This incident was not the first of its kind at Hilltop, though.
“We have had a couple of instances at Hilltop,” said Joe Tritshcler, NAUPD community relations officer. “But nothing to the magnitude of this offense.”
According to Tristchler, Hilltop Townhouses are becoming a more familiar place for students to go and engage in illegal activity.
“I have been invited to a lot of Hilltop parties,” said Deirdre Oliver, sophomore psychology major. “They tend to be a lot calmer and safer.”
All damage to the townhouse units becomes the responsibility of the residence upon move-in. Multiple offenses against the rules administers removal of student residents.