By Jesse McLean
A student says he called security 11 times with no response before officers arrived at the scene of a 12-person brawl on Monday night.
Michael, a second-year civil engineering student who declined to give his last name, said he called Ryerson’s emergency number after he was threatened with a box-cutter outside of the Library Building.
“I kept on getting an answering machine,” he said. “I almost called 9-11.”
According to several witnesses, the man carrying the box-cutter came to campus around 9 p.m. with his girlfriend, who claimed a group of four men had assaulted her almost an hour before.
When the man passed Michael and fellow students Pouya Haghshenas and Chantal Paez, he flashed the blade, and accused Haghshenas of fighting with his girlfriend.
The girl told her boyfriend that the three students weren’t the people who assaulted her, and the couple continued to the entrance of the Library Building. In the basement foyer, the two confronted the four men, who had been joined by six others, sources say.
The group moved outside, where a fight broke out and the couple was beaten up. The group of men, identified by witnesses as Ryerson students, fled before security arrived. Security questioned the couple before police arrived, but didn’t find any weapons.
Still, the three students don’t think security did their job.
“It makes me think there’s no security,” Paez said. “For me, I’m a girl. Let’s say I want to study alone, I should at least feel safe here.”
However, security manager Lawrence Robinson doubts the students were calling the right number.
“The phone is staffed always, 365 days a year for at least the past 20 years,” he said.
Robinson said security had received several calls regarding the incident, and reacted promptly. He suggested that it was possible security was fielding too many calls, preventing Michael from reaching them. However, Robinson is confident callers wouldn’t be forwarded to a machine.
Police made no arrests.