Our View: Be careful out there

DKS Editors

Editor’s note: Editorial board member Doug Gulasy abstained from adding to this editorial as he has been reporting on the assault.

At 2 a.m. Sunday, 23-year-old Christopher Kernich was brutally assaulted in downtown Kent in what police call an unprovoked attack.

Sometimes you’re not as safe as you think.

Luckily, Kernich was in a group at the time. Who knows what could have happened otherwise. It’s bad enough already. It’s very important to stay with a group when you’re anywhere at night, especially walking home from the bars.

Sure, Kent may seem like a safe place, compared with nearby universities in Akron, Youngstown and Cleveland. But that doesn’t mean you should let your guard down; we are not in a bubble. We are not immune to the same types of problems as bigger cities. If you’re with a group, have someone who is sober with you. We do not know if Kernich or anyone he was with was intoxicated – and it doesn’t matter considering it was an unprovoked attack. But it’s worth reminding everyone: The more aware you are, the better.

Right now Kernich is in critical condition. Who knows what could have kept this from happening. Only witnesses can guess. All we can do is prepare ourselves. Invest in some pepper spray, travel with a group, keep someone sober around and be aware of your surroundings.

Don’t take this event as a reason to stay inside, though. This is not a common incident in Kent, and we aren’t expecting a chain of these sort of problems to start now. Do not be fearful of going out and having a good time. Use this unfortunate incident as an example – a reminder – that no matter where you are, there is possible danger. You just have to prepare yourself.

And if you see anything like this happening, get out of there and call the police immediately. Keep yourself out of harm’s way while the authorities break up the conflict.

We want to extend our best wishes to Kernich and his family and friends. What they’re going through is not easy, and they need all the support they can get. And students, do yourselves a favor and remember this incident next time you’re out after dark: Safety is everything.

In the meantime, if you have any information about the attack, please contact the police as they continue the investigation.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.