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Violent Crimes Lead Police to Go Undercover in OSU Area
COLUMBUS (Lisa Rantala/Ken Hines) -- A string of robberies targeting students near The Ohio State University campus has prompted police to engage in undercover overnight patrols.
Between 2:30 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, undercover officers arrested Brittney Hammel near North High St. and Hubbard Ave., and Jeremy Decker and Matthew Werner at Northwood Ave. and N. High St.
Hammel is facing charges for assaulting one of the undercover officers, while Decker and Werner are accused of targeting two students who were walking to their off-campus apartment from a bar.
Decker and Werner harassed the students while biking in the area, according to victim John Fioritto.
"[They were] just saying how we're all, excuse my language, a bunch of @#$%^ that go to Ohio State," Fioritto said. "At one point they said they were going to bury us alive."
Fioritto, 23, said both Decker and Werner claimed to have guns, and threatened to shoot them if they didn't hand over their money and cell phones. He said he ran and called police, only to find out they were already there.
"I called them, and they said they had guys following them, Fioritto said. They called me back and said, 'We're just going to arrest them now.'"
The OSU senior positively identified the suspects, whom the undercover officers claim to have spotted earlier in the night, lurking around the ATMs on N. High St.
Both Decker and Werner appeared in court on Thursday.