Journalism Camp: Hilbert Cafeteria Held Up at Gunpoint

Editor’s Note: This story was written as part of a breaking news exercise. No robbery took place at Hilbert College.

by Nick Pulinski, Leah Chlewicki, Grace Wenner

An armed robbery occurred at the Hilbert Campus cafeteria this afternoon. 

At approximately 1:30 pm a white male about 5’8” entered the dining hall wearing sunglasses and threatened a cashier with a supposed weapon. Vito Czyz, Director of Hilbert College Campus Safety, said the armed robber fled the area with approximately $250 in cash. 

“The suspect is not in custody, he is still at large,” Czyz said. “The Hamburg Police Department and the New York State Police are continuing to search.”  

A student in the cafeteria at the time was shaken up by the out of the ordinary activity at the small, liberal arts college.

“[He] said he had a gun or something, came up, asked for the money, threw it in a bag and just stormed out there, ran past everyone,” Ryan Zunner, a witness, said,  “It was a crazy scene.”

Czyz stated that Hamburg police were called to the scene and chased the suspect before losing him in a wooded area behind the school. He also added the campus was placed in a lockdown while police searched the location. 

“A Town of Hamburg Police Officer, who had happened to be nearby campus, pursued him and chased him through the woodline, which is adjacent to our practice fields,” Czyz said,  “[He] also fell and possibly broke his ankle in the woods and was taken to ACMC.”

Czyz asks the community to promote public safety by using established the police tip line when necessary; 1 (800) 723-3786.


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