Councilman David Marks announced Thursday that a task force will examine short-term security improvements in the Towson community where one college student was stabbed multiple times Sunday night and a second was robbed at knifepoint Monday.
“Downtown Towson is still a secure place to work, live, and do business, but crime anywhere is unacceptable and we need to do whatever we can to guarantee public safety,” Councilman Marks said in a statement.
Earlier this week, a pair of incidents shook the community in the area of Burke Avenue and Center Avenue in Towson, a residential community just east of Towson University and south of downtown Towson. The task force will focus on short-term fixes in that area, Marks said.
On Sunday night, a 24-year-old male Towson University student was stabbed multiple times and found in the street around 10:50 p.m. Police said he was seriously injured and taken to an unidentified local hospital.
As of Thursday, the man’s name or location had not been released for safety reasons, police said.
At 9:50 p.m. Monday in the 200 block of Burke Avenue, police said a 20-year-old male Goucher College student was walking home from campus, pushing his bicycle and talking on his cell phone, when a pair of men attacked him in a nearby alley.
According to police, the two men threatened to stab the student if he didn’t cooperate, though he did not see a knife. The men stole money from the student’s wallet, and a third man drove the pair away in a getaway car.
Both victims were only able to describe their alleged attackers as a group of three thin, black males.
The committee to examine safety improvements in the area will be comprised of leaders from community organizations and Towson University, Marks said.
Sgt. Stephen Fink of the Towson precinct will serve as chair and lead the committee that also includes Towson University Chief of Police Bernie Gerst, Greater Towson Council of Community Associations President Paul Hartman, Towson Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Nancy Hafford, and BGE representatives.
Marks said he has also sought input from Towson’s legislative delegation—state Sen. Jim Brochin and delegates Sue Aumann, Bill Frank, and Steve Lafferty—as well as the surrounding communities, the Towson Area Citizens on Patrol, Donnybrook Apartments and Brightview Towson.
“The committee would be small, with a tight turnaround that looks at immediate improvements such as lighting and better education for both residents and students,” Marks said.
In a statement released Tuesday in the wake of the second attack, county police said Chief Jim Johnson was continuing to enhance police presence in Towson.
“For the last few months, Chief Johnson has dedicated additional resources to Towson and its growing entertainment and university district,” the statement read. “These resources include units from the Business Patrol Initiative and Community Action Team.”
In May, Johnson and County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced that three additional officers would be assigned to the Towson precinct to patrol the downtown entertainment area at night. The first of those three officers began Friday, Nov. 1.