Local News

Hillsborough Street Violence Mars College Experience

Posted November 24, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— A half-dozen men in their late teens or early 20s may be responsible for a series of Hillsborough Street attacks -- some of them involving tire irons -- that are worrying merchants and N.C. State University students. The attacks have occurred at 8 or 9 p.m., 2 a.m. -- and even in late afternoon.

On the night of November 12, two students and a third man were injured in an apparently unprovoked attack at Hillsborough and Pogue Streets. One victim, NCSU senior Joe Hall, 23, was knocked unconscious after being repeatedly hit with a tire iron in the face and body. He lost several teeth, was cut and bruised and has lingering damage to his right eye.

Hall toldThe News & Observerthat he would like the assailants to be caught. "It makes no sense that a street a block away from my campus is that deadly to walk on, that you've got to worry about whether you'll get beaten to death. I don't know why the city of Raleigh hasn't done anything about it."

The November 12 attack was one of several that have been reported along Hillsborough Street recently. Some merchants say they have heard of four assaults in the past two weeks, including one in which a woman was hit in the head with a tire iron as she was strapping a child into her car in a parking lot.

Hall said he has heard from people who know of nine assaults in the past three weeks. In addition, the area has had a rash of car break-ins but increased police vigilance is thought to be the reason for a drop in reports of vehicle damage.

Raleigh police said few victims have filed formal reports of their assaults.

A Hillsborough Street business owner, A.B. Ward, said he knows the assaults are occurring, and right in the commercial area.

Some owners feel it is cutting into their business, and say they have asked for more patrols.

The university is on the south side of Hillsborough Street; shops and restaurants line the north side and cater in large measure to students.