GREENWICH VILLAGE — Two New York University students robbed in Greenwich Village on Sunday afternoon are the latest victims in a string of incidents involving "CD Bullies," according to a safety alert sent out by the school.
The students were on the southeast corner of Broadway and 10th Street about 3:10 p.m. on Sept. 6, the school said, when one student was surrounded by three men.
The men handed the student a CD, and when he took it, they grabbed his arm and forced him to turn over $35, the school said in the notice.
The second student tried to intervene and was surrounded by a second threesome who handed him a CD and demanded money. He gave over $2 and refused to give any more, even after one of the "CD bullies" grabbed his shoulder and tried to pressure him for more.
The school said the six "bullies" headed west on 10th Street, and the two students contacted the school's public safety office and filed reports with the NYPD.
Similar incidents have been reported recently along Broadway from Fourth Street to 10th Street, the school said, with groups of men shaking people down for money in exchange for CDs that are forced on them.
Though the most recent attack took place just north of campus and was therefore not on NYU property, the school is taking steps to make the community aware of it "so they know about the general condition, so that we can prevent it from escalating into the more serious incident we saw recently," Beckman said.
"There was an escalation in the level of intimidation," he said. "They insisted on him giving more, they put hands on him."
Beckman said the school has been in touch with the NYPD regarding the scam generally and the physical altercation.
The recent incidents have occurred during the day, and the NYU students involved have all been Asian men, the school notice said.
Beckman said it's not yet clear whether the perpetrators are targeting Asians specifically. Other victims in the NYU community who are not students have also been victimized in similar incidents, and at least two of them were not Asian, he said, but all were men.