Mayhem on Mill

Tempe's Old Town undergoes a change of characters

After finishing with those two, the teens ran north on Mill, where they passed two women who had been watching the assault. One of the women was hit on the back and head and knocked to the sidewalk as the gang ran past.

At almost exactly the same time, an eighteen-year-old ASU freshman, who also had left the Valley Art Theatre, was walking south on Mill. He was accosted at Sixth Street by a teen stranger who socked him on the right side of the head with a closed fist.

As of press time, no arrests had been made in the crimes.
On a typical weekend night, Tempe police assign four or five officers to the area, Austin says. For the past couple of weeks, "extra patrol" units have been deployed, including both uniform and undercover officers. "It is a safe area," he says, "but just like any other safe area, you still have to take precautions. That means, don't be out by yourself, don't walk into dark areas, make sure your car is locked--crime-prevention tips that every police department will tell you."

One of the teens' victims, a student from Pakistan, says he still is puzzled.

"They were either drunk or something," he says. "There was no provocation. We didn't know who they were. They didn't want money, as far as I know. They abused us, but they didn't ask for money. It just started.

"I didn't think something like this could happen in the center of town. These guys were not concerned. They were just out there to beat up people."

Someone inside the car replied, "We'll show you `what's up.'"

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