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Around 11 P.M. on October 24 Matthew Donato ‘19 was violently attacked while skateboarding near Peterborough Street.
In an interview, the Emmanuel College freshman said he was riding his board and “the next thing I know, someone just came over from the side… and checked me right off my board.”
Donato fell, landing on his right elbow, breaking it.
“I was on the ground, just completely in shock,” he said, when his attacker then jumped on him with a flurry of punches, several to his face.
“I just remember basically being able to break free,” he said. “I just ran over, grabbed my skateboard and…I just ran back to Emmanuel.”
Calling the incident “completely random,” Donato noted that his attacker did not demand any money. It was simply unprovoked violence.
As for his reasoning to be off campus, Donato said, “People were in my room and I just wanted to get out and get some fresh air. Just go for a skate.”
Donato did not contact either the Boston Police or Campus Safety about the assault.
“I was more focused about just getting back to campus and making sure that I was in a good, safe position,” he admitted.
“I was just kind of in shock… I knew I had basically been beat up but I didn’t know, like, this is what my situation was. I didn’t even know I had broken the arm until the morning after.”
Giving additional reasoning for not reporting the attack, he added, “I figured it was such a strange, freak accident that I just don’t think that there would be any way of them to catch the guy.”
Donato said he was more focused on recuperating than hunting down a dead-end case.
“It happened. Let’s just move on.” he said.
After his initial visit to the E.R. the day after, Donato was put into a soft splint, then given minor surgery on October 27 to repair the damage to the elbow. He is recovering well and is expecting a hard cast soon.
Outside of his insurance, the whole endeavor has cost him around $300.
In addition to the economic fallout, he has to contend with the “academic side” of the situation.
“It’s enough to break your arm,” Donato stated, “but then you have to email your professors, talk to your academic advisor…It sucks because you want to be focused on [healing] but you have to be focused on other stuff as well.”
Stating that the incident has made him “definitely more cautious, especially about going out late at night,” Donato insists that he is “still going to go off campus.”
“[I’m] not going to be packed into my room all day,” he said.
This comes amid what seems to be a rise in similar incidents among the Fenway area. At the beginning of the semester, students received a seemingly larger influx of portal announcements with reports of crime in Emmanuel’s neighborhood.
These announcements have decreased as the semester has moved forward.
However, crime, according to the Boston Police’s crime statistics for the district, is down 14% from 2014.
It should also be noted that these are merely the reported cases. Many incidents, such as Donato’s, go unreported.
“You go through your day, you hear stories about it happening to other people, and you always have it in the back of your head but you never expect it to happen to you until it really does. It’s kind of strange,” Donato said.
“In Emmanuel you’re kind of closed off from the rest of the city. But I guess as soon you leave you have to understand that you’re outside now, you’re part of the city. Anything can happen.”