Teaching Fellow Assaulted Near Yard

Until about 1:15 a.m., it had been a quiet night on Kirkland St.

Edward Gilland and a Harvard museum worker had finished dinner in Harvard Square and were walking back to her Cambridge apartment, just a few blocks from Harvard's biology labs, where Gilland is a course assistant this semester for Biology 21.

As the two passed in front of William James Hall after midnight on Wednesday, November 4, two white males in their 30's crossed the street and began to beat Gilland brutally.

One man stood guard while the other threw Gilland over a parked car and kicked and punched him until the teaching fellow's bone was sticking out of the skin of his thumb. The men then left as Gilland lay bleeding in the middle of Kirkland St.

The story of what happened that Wednesday night, as told by the woman who was with Gilland and corroborated by police reports, demonstrates just how graphically urban violence can sometimes invade Harvard's ivory tower.


The woman, who was not harmed in the incident, requested anonymity because she said she feared reprisals by the attackers.

"He could have been killed," the woman said in an interview yesterday. "I don't get the feeling it was a one time incident. When someone so angry picks on someone they don't even know, it's frightening. I want this to be in The Crimson so that people are aware something bad might happen. They should be careful."

Immediately after the beating, the woman helped Gilland to her house two blocks away at 52 Irving St., where she phoned an ambulance and Harvard police. Gilland was taken to Cambridge City Hospital within minutes.

The attack left Gilland with a fractured thumb (into which metal pins have been permanently inserted), a broken arm, a broken rib, a fractured jaw, a shattered wrist and multiple lacerations and abrasions, according to the woman and police reports.

Gilland underwent two operations on his thumb and wrist and was released from Cambridge City Hospital on Saturday. He re-admitted himself again three days ago for a third operation on his jaw.

Gilland was listed in stable condition last night.

But the woman says that as harrowing as the beating was, dealing with the aftermath has been even more difficult.

She said no Harvard police officer has contacted her about the incident and thatshe has so far been "disappointed" by the policeresponse. The official incident report was takenby Cambridge police.

Harvard police incorrectly recorded Gilland'sname at the time of the incident and it was thusmisspelled in error in a Crimson story Thursday.

Cambridge and Harvard police say no arrestshave been made and there are no suspects in thecase. The woman said she and Gilland have been tothe Cambridge police department to look at mugshots but have been unable to identify either theattacker or his accomplice.

Police say they are looking for two whitemales, both in their 30's. One is a 6'1" whitemale with blond hair and a blond mustache wearinga denim jacket. The other suspect is a shorterwhite male with dark hair.

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