Students at Bakersfield College are on alert following an attempted armed robbery in the school's parking lot Tuesday afternoon.
School officials say a panhandler approached a student in the southeast parking lot and demanded money. When the student refused, officials say the man pulled a knife.
"I've seen several different types of crimes at Bakersfield College during the time I've been here. I've never seen an armed robbery. This was an attempted armed robbery but it's still new and different for us," said Amber Chiang, spokeswoman for Bakersfield College.
It was just after noon Tuesday when school officials say a panhandler walked onto the campus and asked a student for money.
"When the student refused to give money, they had a bit of a back and forth and the individual pulled a knife on our student attempting to still obtain money," said Chiang.
Administrators say the student was able to get away and notify the school.
They say the panhandler took off on Mt. Vernon Avenue.
He's described as a Hispanic man in his early 20s, with a dirty appearance.
Students at BC say they're being cautious.
"It happened to a fellow student. I mean who knows, it could have been me," said Josh Le. "If it had been a couple minutes earlier, that could have been me in that situation."
"As a student here and anywhere, you just try to be cognizant of things. It's unfortunately signs of times," said Marie Littles.
Within 45 minutes of the incident, Bakersfield College sent a warning to all 17,000 students, notifying them through e-mail that a crime had taken place.
School officials say they're required by law to send the warning.
"That's not something I should be worried about. I shouldn't have to worry about getting to my car and going home or getting my car stolen," continued Le.
In February, the college had to increase its security after a string of Honda thefts on campus.
But, school officials say even with security, students should remain vigilant.
"If you see something weird, say something. Call our Public Safety Department because we have immediate interaction with the Bakersfield Police Department should we need to respond to a situation," said Chiang.
If you have any information on this attempted armed robbery, call police at 327-7111.