A message from Dan Nadler, vice president for student affairs, sent to all EIU students and employees:
Eastern Illinois University has received several inquiries regarding an incident that took place in Charleston late Wednesday. The crime was committed off campus, and the alleged attacker was apprehended shortly thereafter.
According to the Charleston Police Department (CPD), shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, CPD officers responded to a call on West Locust Street, located more than two miles north of the EIU campus. Two individuals - one male and one female - sustained knife wounds to their throats; both have been treated for their injuries. Charleston resident Blackie Veach, 21, was arrested later in the evening and charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery.
While the individuals involved in this case have no connection to Eastern Illinois University, this incident should remind all of us to adhere to basic safety precautions:
. Be diligent. Recognize your vulnerability.
. Avoid traveling alone at night. Always carry a cell phone.
. Confine walking to well-lit, regularly traveled walks and pathways.
. Avoid shortcuts and keep away from shrubbery, bushes, alleyways or any other areas where an assailant might be lurking.
. Report all suspicious persons, vehicles and activities to the University Police Department immediately, by using any campus emergency phone or by dialing 911.
. Use the "buddy system" and watch out for your neighbor.
. Keep your door locked when you nap or go to bed for the night.
. Report lights that are out and any hazardous conditions immediately.
. If threatened by an approaching vehicle, run in the opposite direction. The vehicle will have to turn around in order to pursue you.
. If you think you are being followed, do anything that might attract attention or summon assistance.
. Carry a loud whistle or other noise-making device; this will draw attention to your position if assailed.
These safety precautions, among others, can be found on the University Police Department and Student Affairs websites.
The EIU Police Department, located at the corner of Seventh Street and Grant Avenue, provides service and protection to the campus community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In case of an emergency, dial 911 or 581-3212, or go to the University Police Department headquarters. Blue emergency phones are available throughout campus. (See here for locations.)