Last December I got a phone call that I’ll never forget. Quinn had finished her waitressing shift at work around 5 PM and she decided to head to the Rutgers library for a long night of pre-finals studying. This was her normal three-block walk to the library passing through Easton Avenue, one of the busiest streets in New Brunswick. When she saw three men approaching her on the same side of the street she thought nothing of it, then one of them punched her in the face, knocking out four of her front teeth. She fell to the ground and took one of the men down with her. After taking a second to process what was happening she began to scream for help, two of the men ran while the man on the ground next to her punched her again. As he got up to flee from the scene he grabbed her iPhone.
Quinn continued to scream for help, and managed to make the one block back to Easton Avenue. A group of students on the street ran toward her screams and found her. That’s when my phone rang. As I answered an unfamiliar number I heard Quinn sobbing, police sirens, and she was trying to get out words but couldn’t speak. My blood ran cold as I screamed “WHERE ARE YOU?" A police officer took the phone and said she was at the gas station on Easton Avenue. I started running.
When I got there I saw Quinn in an ambulance covered in blood and I swear for a second my heart stopped beating. The police officer told me what happened and mentioned that the attack may have been related to a string of events called “The Knock Out Game”, where a random target is assaulted for no particular reason. Often times a phone or wallet is stolen out of convenience, but it’s not the original intention of the assault. He also mentioned that they were currently looking for the three men, but hadn’t seen them. They never caught them, and for the first time ever I felt like I had failed as her protector.
Quinn’s Rutgers Insurance did not cover her dental work; and her appeal to the Office for Victims of Crimes was denied because their funding does not cover dental surgery.
This past weekend Quinn received her final surgery and is now left with a debt of over $5,000. What happened to Quinn has been jarring enough, but to be faced with financial debt because of it is a burden I can’t watch her carry. She has put herself through college by working a full time job in addition to her schoolwork and is far too selfless to ask for help; so I’m asking for her. I am eternally grateful to the strangers who came to her side, the New Brunswick Police Department who responded so quickly and to everyone who is able to make a donation, it means more to me than you’ll ever know.
With my deepest gratitude,
- DM Teuber
- Karen Brand
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