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UCLA Student Robbed At Gunpoint In North Village

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — University police are investigating a report of a UCLA student who was robbed at gunpoint on Midvale Avenue Wednesday night.

Luis Torres, a fourth-year sociology student, was walking down Ophir Drive around 10:50 p.m. when he noticed two men on the corner of Midvale Avenue and Ophir Drive.

He also noticed a car nearby with two women in it, parked in a red zone, he said.

As Torres rounded the corner, passing through an unlit part of Midvale Avenue, one of the men approached him from behind and put a gun against his cheek, Torres said.

“Lots of lights actually go out and it takes a long time for them to get repaired, if they get repaired,” Westwood resident Richard Friedman said.

The man demanded that Torres give over his iPhone, but he refused.

Friedman has lived in the neighborhood for ten years and said he has seen crimes like this happen many times before.

“The city says they’ll send somebody out and that never  happens. I’ve actually called the city several times…complaints really don’t get registered,” he said.

After four years in the military, Torres said he is familiar with guns, and doubted whether the gun was real or not. He considered fighting back, but then another man hit him over the head when he didn’t hand over the phone, he said.

The impact left him with a small bump on the head, he told police.

Torres then gave over his iPhone, and the two men ran to their car, which was parked at the corner of Ophir Drive and Midvale Avenue.

He said he felt the men were purposely waiting to rob somebody on Midvale Avenue because it is a poorly lit street. Torres said he hopes the incident will encourage authorities to update the streetlights in that area.

“I’m just angry, disappointed,” Torres said. “It’s Westwood … it’s not known for violent crimes.”

The man with the gun is described in the police report released on Wednesday as black, about 20 years old, 5 feet 8 inches and 160 pounds. He was wearing a dark sweatshirt, a black beanie, shorts and white socks.

The man who hit Torres is black, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches, and was wearing brown shorts, according to the report.

This is the third reported cellphone robbery this year, but the first involving a weapon, according to Daily Bruin archives.

UCPD recommends students always be aware of their surroundings. If in a robbery situation, students should comply with the robber, get a detailed description of the suspect and then call university police when safe.

Anyone with information regarding this robbery should call UCPD at 310-825-1491.

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