RENO, Nev. (KOLO) A UNR student is reliving the moment he says he was beaten and robbed just a few blocks from campus. Reno Police say they're investigating several violent crimes last weekend that took place near the university. One victim says he's sharing his story not only to empower students to stay safe, but to let the robbers know he will not live his life in fear.
Hospital photo of Turner Gustafson
"Once I was pulled out of the car, they took everything out of my pockets. I argued with them a little bit, they hit me a lot,” Turner Gustafson explains.
He’s recovering from an unimaginable experience, wearing a hat and dark sunglasses due to his concussion. He explains the night of the crime, telling KOLO 8, “We were going to shut the doors to the car and while we're shutting them, someone grabs the door midway on both sides and the first thing that was said was get out the door and give me everything in your pockets."
He says it happened around 2AM October 6, 2018. He says he was walking with a friend heading back to their car after a fundraiser hosted by one of the sororities. Gustafson says it was three men who attacked them, holding a gun to his friend's head. Reno Police say they weren't the only victims, a handful of similar crimes are being investigated. No arrests have been made.
“Right now, I have a concussion, the inside of my lips are pretty bruised, my jaw is bruised, my neck, my back, my rib cages are bruised," Gustafson details. He says he is still dealing with anxiety and pain. But he wants his fellow students to be extremely careful, in an area he's been around his entire life.
Campus police are warning everyone to take extra precautions as Assistant Chief Todd Renwick states, “Know what’s going around them and have plans, if you are going to be commuting later at night use resources, whether it's campus escort, getting escorts for student cadets, or even Uber.”
Gustafson and his friend called the police shortly after. He was taken to the hospital and adds, “When you're in a moment like that...you don't think it could even happen to you until it does.” But those five to seven minutes of terror will not define the UNR junior. He says he's still planning to be a part of Homecoming and finish out midterms, telling us, “It’s important to kids walking home, be safe, and be around others.”
The bruises will fade away, but he hopes his message of safety resonates with us all.
He has no description of the three men who attacked him, and police don't know if any of the other crimes from the weekend are related. You're asked to call Secret Witness at 775-322-4900 if you have information that can help the investigation.