By Jared Fields, Managing Editor
Brian Schmidt, senior photojournalism major from Austin, was assaulted early Friday morning between Gibson Gym and the McGlothlin Campus Center.
Schmidt was leaving the Don H. Morris Center about 1 a.m. after working on a research paper. He was walking to the University Park Apartments when the assault took place.
The two men were standing near Gibson Gym while Schmidt was talking on the phone and walking to his apartment. He said the two came at him from out of his line of sight.
Schmidt was carrying his backpack and one camera with a lens attached; his lens was broken in the attack.
“Nothing was stolen,” said Schmidt, chief photographer for the Optimist. “At the end of the attack I felt a tug at my strap, I guess that’s how the lens was broken. When I lifted my head [after they fled], they were running out to Moody and Cullen.
“I went looking for my lens first, on the ground.”
Bonnie Buchanan, senior art major from Lubbock, witnessed the assault while leaving the Don H. Morris Center.
Buchanan was in front of the Brown Library, walking south, when she said she heard yelling.
“I saw two guys, it looked like they were fighting,” Buchanan said. “I couldn’t tell it was Brian at first; I thought they were probably fighting with one another.
“I don’t even know if they knew I was there.”
Schmidt was on the phone with 911 before Buchanan arrived to help. Buchanan stayed with Schmidt before ACU police officer Ed Miller arrived as the first officer on the scene.
Schmidt was bleeding from a cut to the top of his head and suffered other scrapes and bruises, along with a bruised left jaw.
Jimmy Ellison, ACU police chief, said the ACU Police Department is actively investigating the crime, although only a general description was provided.
“We are asking anybody that would have been in the area from midnight to 1 a.m. that saw any individuals to contact us and provide information,” Ellison said.
Despite not knowing much about the two men, Ellison said the department is also looking at video of the nearby dorms for students entering at that time.
“We don’t know if they are ACU students,” Ellison said. “We’re not going to assume either but be objective and work at both possibilities.”
Ellison said this incident is the first of its kind in recent memory but is not a cause for panic.
“While it’s a serious accident, there were no previous incidences and no cause for panic,” Ellison said. “It does underscore how people need to be safe on campus.”
During the weekend, Gibson Gym was also burglarized, Ellison said.
“This helps show the need of a campus-wide camera system,” Ellison said. “With minimal staffing, it’s difficult to cover all areas adequately.”