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The Boston Globe

Metro

Police make quick arrests in assault and robbery case near Boston University campus

After being thrown to the ground, stabbed twice, and robbed Tuesday night, a Boston University researcher started to follow his two assailants, but was unable to continue, according to a police report.

The 38-year-old victim, who would only say in a phone interview Friday that he is “attempting to recover physically and mentally,” did not realize he had been stabbed in the chest and shoulder until police were interviewing him minutes after the attack at Pleasant and Browne streets, less than half a mile from the Boston University campus.

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Wallace Vick, 19, of Dorchester, and Shaqone Cazeau, 20, of Mattapan, were arrested Thursday and arraigned Friday in Brookline District Court, each charged with armed assault with intent to murder, armed and masked robbery, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

At their request, the defendants remained out of sight during the arraignment, standing on stairs leading from the basement to the courtroom. Their lawyers pleaded not guilty on behalf of their clients, who were held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing on Feb. 6.

Both defendants have extensive criminal histories, according to the police report. Vick has 26 entries, including robbery, assault and battery, and larceny; Cazeau has 10 entries, including larceny, and is currently on probation out of Brighton District Court.

Shortly after the attack Tuesday evening, the victim was being interviewed by police when he suddenly paused and lifted his shirt.

“As he was telling me what happened, he said that he thought he was bleeding,” a Brookline police officer stated in the police report.

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Blood had saturated layers of his clothing, the report said. The suspects took his backpack containing his wallet, cellphone, laptop, and iPad, and allegedly used his bank card to purchase MBTA Charlie Cards.

The robbery was the latest in at least seven holdups since September near Boston University that have set off a wave of fear in the community.

Police made an arrest last week in connection with a Jan. 19 holdup of three students only a block away from Tuesday’s attack. And on the campus of Boston College, 4 miles away, school police vowed to step up patrols after receiving reports of two armed robberies last week in that area.

A man who identified himself as Cazeau’s brother attended the arraignment along with about six unidentified people, all of whom declined to comment as they left the courthouse together.

In a 22-page police report, officers detailed how they relied on surveillance cameras, other technology, and witnesses to aid their investigation, allowing them to quickly close in on the suspects.

One officer, in attempting to “geo locate” the stolen phone, got a “ping” in the area of 888 Commonwealth Ave. Officers also got surveillance video footage from the owner of the building where the attack occurred, showing the suspects walking to the area and moments later fleeing. The footage shows the victim running after the suspects. Another surveillance camera also captured images of the suspects six minutes after the 8:31 p.m. attack.

On Wednesday, police interviewed the victim at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, where he was being treated for his stab wounds, which are not life-threatening.

He told authorities that his debit and credit cards had been used at the MBTA Jackson Square Station to purchase Charlie Cards.

Officers went to the station and viewed surveillance video footage capturing the images of the suspects at the time that the victim’s bank records indicate the purchases were made. Those images were recorded an hour after the attack.

Police sent out fliers containing photographs from the video and received identifications of the suspects from a probation officer out of Brighton District Court and a Boston school police officer assigned to Brighton High School.

Cazeau is a student at the school and Vick is a former student there, according to the officer.

Police got the suspects’ names and addresses and arrested them Thursday without incident. Cazeau had a folding knife in his pocket when he was arrested, police said. The electronic items that were stolen have not been recovered.

Brian Ballou can be reached at bballou@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @globeballou.

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