Crime in Hayward: A Reality

Crime in Hayward: A Reality

Richard Duboc

Many students new to Cal State East Bay want to know if the campus, and the surrounding city of Hayward, is safe. Unfortunately, I can tell you from experience that the answer is no. On September 27, I was robbed as I was walking after class just off of Mission Boulevard near the campus.

It changes at night. When the sun goes down, the freaks come out.

— Officer Alvin Sangco

At around nine o’clock when I was in sight of my apartment, I was approached by a young man, who, after asking me if I had a cigarette, demanded that I give him my wallet. With his hand positioned in his pocket, he told me that he would shoot me if didn’t hand over my wallet, phone, and the portable radio I was listening to.

Fortunately, I was able to convince the man that I didn’t have anything valuable in my backpack, other than books I had just purchased from the University Bookstore. The assailant then walked away leaving me a little rattled, but mainly angry that I would now feel unsafe walking from my apartment to class.
Less than a week after moving to the area, I have now witnessed the dark side of my new surroundings.

Robberies like these are not uncommon in Hayward.

“It changes at night,” Hayward Police officer Alvin Sangco told me, “when the sun goes down, the freaks come out.”

In 2008, there were 1,080 cases of burglary and 517 robberies city wide. That same year, Hayward had 7 homicides, which was the third most in Alameda County behind Oakland and Berkeley.

Murder in Hayward is an all too common headline as it is in many cities across the nation. Non more shocking then the 2009 shooting of Thomas Cunningham, who was senselessly killed walking home with his daughter after buying ice cream.

The most important thing to note is that there has never been a murder at CSUEB, however there have been 12 reported cases of rape and 28 cases of aggravated assault since 2005. By comparison there were 2 rapes and 23 aggravated assaults at UC Berkley in 2008 alone.

It is easy to say that the Hayward Hills campus, and the Concord Campus for that matter (where there is virtually no crime except a few cases of robbery) are safe places for students. There are 14 police officers presently patrolling the 342 acre Hayward campus, along with a staff of community service officers, dispatch officers, and administrators.

There is a reason why commuter students vacate the campus after class and residential students stick to the hill. Hayward is not an inviting place for students to hang out and it can be a dangerous place to be at night.

I wish I could tell you to come out and enjoy the local surroundings, but sadly, I can’t.