Adam Floyd and Kristin Finney
The Valdosta Daily Times
Police have charged a teenager in connection with an armed robbery that occurred at a Valdosta State University ATM machine; the school has increased police presence in response to recent incidents on campus.
Michael Deshawn Humphrey, 17, was charged with armed robbery and burglary after the Valdosta Police Department Person’s Crime Unit identified him as one of the offenders in the October 3, 2013 incident in which two men were robbed. Humphrey is also being held on an unrelated battery charge, according to reports.
The robbery occurred in the 400 block of West Mary Street. Police responded at approximately 11 p.m., and the victim reported that he was walking home when two black males approached him and pointed a gun at him, demanding his money. When the victim explained he did not have money on him, the suspects told him he needed to get his debit card, and they followed him to his apartment.
While at the apartment, the suspects stole several items. One offender left the apartment with the stolen property while the other led the victim to an ATM on VSU’s campus, where he withdrew money and gave it to the suspect, according to reports.
Officers performed a search of the area, but were not able to locate the suspects. While the officers were searching, they were approached by another man who indicated that he had been approached an hour before by two black males. He explained that the two pulled a handgun on him but did not get anything from him.
VPD detectives believe these two incidents involve the same two offenders.
In response to the robbery and the Oct. 10 stabbing of a VSU student, university police have increased their presence on campus.
VSU students commenting on social media sites since the two incidents have been critical of the school and the perception that campus police spend most of their time in vehicles and are rarely seen on foot.
“We have increased VSU police foot patrol in the main campus area including the pedestrian mall near residence halls. Valdosta State's highest priority is the continued safety of the campus community, and safety processes and procedures are under continual evaluation,” said Thressea Boyd, VSU director of communications.
In addition to security cameras, blue light emergency phones and a 24-hour campus security escort service, the school holds forums that allow for two-way communication between students and campus police. The most recent forum was held in September.
VSU also employs student patrollers who are on campus throughout the night and early morning hours to provide students, faculty and staff with escorts to their residence halls, parking areas and buildings on campus.