UT Students on Edge After Recent Crimes

By: Liz Tedone
By: Liz Tedone

Knoxville (WVLT) - Neighbors in the Fort Sanders area downtown are keeping a watchful eye. Wednesday night's carjacking and attempted carjacking top the list in a rash of crime near the UT campus. Two students were attacked within minutes of each other.

WVLT Volunteer TV's Liz Tedone has the story.

Nineteen-year-old Devin Porter was arrested in connection with the carjackings and charged with theft. We spoke with one of the victims by phone, and she is doing well. In fact, she's hitting the books to study for an upcoming test.

Fort Sanders community neighbors have experienced a rash of crime in just the past month. Since the beginning of October, there have been seven incidents of robbery, assault and carjacking. The latest offense, two carjacking episodes within minutes of each other.

Students living at the Volunteers for Christ house are concerned. Nine guys live here and support their church's ministry, but admit they too get scared.

"The most fearful thing is like worrying about...they come to the house, when they get here or drive here, we just want to make sure we're staying with them," student Zack Varnell said.

But even at dusk, we found two women out alone, both obviously distracted by the music they were listening to.

Meanwhile, Kenny, whose mom is receiving therapy at nearby NHC, says he's concerned, but hasn't witnessed anything.

"Yes, I'm scared about my mom being here, for her safety and other patients here as well yes," Kenny said.

The UT Police Department has sent an e-mail to students warning them to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity in their neighborhoods.

Police are still looking for another suspect in Wednesday night's carjackings. Both students sustained minor injuries.


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