With Summer on the brink of Fall, college students across the nation are settling into the routine of campus life, although for some, that routine is being interrupted by the threat of something known as a bleach bomb — balloons filled with bleach.
University of Texas student Bryan Davis is one such victim. While walking towards a friend’s apartment last Thursday, he said he felt a sting on his leg and noticed he was hit with a bleach bomb. Davis believed it came from a balcony in the University Towers apartment complex and reported to Fox Austin:
“I just remember looking up and thinking I saw the back of someone’s head. By the time I looked up they were basically gone.”
Davis believed he was targeted because he is an African-American student at a large predominately White institution, adding:
“People might look at it as a prank, but to be a minority at such a large school, even pranks like this, it doesn’t come off the way you think it might when you’re doing it. For me, it was kind of humiliating and embarrassing.”
A similar incident occurred to another student of color in the same vicinity of the University of Texas last Fall. Police were not able to find the suspect in that previous case but started a new investigation using the information from Bryan Davis’s case. A representative of the Austin Police Department, Captain David Boyd said:
“They (detectives) might be able to go out and look in the area and see who had surveillance cameras out there or any potential witnesses that were in the area that could have seen something . If anybody were to get bleach thrown at them in their eyes it could be a very serious situation where it could potentially blind you. It could have seriously physically injured someone, and the fact that this has happened before and other students have reported this and it’s not stopping, why shouldn’t that be taken seriously?”
Although the Austin Police Department appears to be sympathetic, one must note if Bryan Davis did not report this attack to a media outlet would the police department or University of Texas board take these campus crimes seriously?
A spokesperson from University Of Texas released a statement regarding the ordeal:
The University of Texas at Austin has long been committed to promoting diversity and ensuring respect and inclusion throughout the campus community. Our university should be a haven and home to students of all backgrounds. Austin Police are investigating the allegations about an incident off campus and we are anxious to learn the results. University police will work closely with APD on the investigation. The Dean of Students and our campus climate response team, which coordinates the university’ response to bias incidents, is actively reviewing these allegations and also prepared to work with Austin Police on their investigation.
Have you ever heard of this beach bomb trend?
Do you think the culprit behind these bias-related crimes will be solved? Let us know in the comment section!