By Robert Lazarus
Lexington KY, 1/11/2024 – A disturbing new trend has emerged at college basketball games across the country, where older men are becoming victims of drug-facilitated theft and assault.
In a series of recent incidents reported across various universities, men over the age of 50 attending college basketball games have found themselves victims of these drug-facilitated crimes. The pattern typically involves unsuspecting individuals being drugged, leading to loss of consciousness and subsequent theft or assault.
Arnold Sullivan, a 56-year-old victim and avid basketball fan, recounted his experience at a game last month. “I only had two or three beers, but suddenly, everything became blurry and I couldn’t stand up,” Sullivan said. He later woke up in a hospital with his wallet and phone missing. Authorities are currently investigating this case but have yet to identify any suspects.
Statistics from the National College Safety Council reveal a worrying 20% increase in drug-facilitated crimes at sporting events over the last year, with older men being disproportionately affected.
Detective Jane Lorenzo, leading several investigations into these incidents, believes the choice of older men as targets is no coincidence. “These criminals are cowards, choosing to prey on individuals they perceive as less able to defend themselves. It’s a despicable trend that we are taking very seriously,” Lorenzo stated.
Psychologists suggest that perceptions of age and vulnerability may influence the choice of victims. It is believed that older individuals might be seen as less capable of defending themselves, making them targets in the eyes of criminals.
Universities are stepping up their response to this alarming trend. Increased security measures, including heightened surveillance and undercover security personnel at games, are being implemented. Additionally, educational campaigns are underway to raise awareness among game attendees about the dangers of accepting drinks from strangers and the importance of staying vigilant in crowded settings.
Furthermore, these incidents have sparked a broader discussion about the safety and respect of older individuals in public spaces. Community leaders and advocacy groups are now focusing on combating age-related stereotypes and biases that might contribute to such crimes. These initiatives aim to foster a more accommodating and respectful environment for individuals of all ages in public venues.
Moreover, law enforcement agencies are collaborating with college campuses to conduct workshops and training sessions on personal safety and situational awareness. These programs are designed to empower individuals with the knowledge and skills to protect themselves and others in public spaces.
As this troubling trend continues, the call for a united front is stronger than ever. Sports fans, university officials, law enforcement, and the wider community are urged to work together to ensure the safety and dignity of all attendees at sporting events, reinforcing the message that such criminal behavior will not be tolerated.
Credit: Robert Lazarus