With the 2:14 am mugging on Sept. 8th, Yale junior Tony Mercini entered both the record books and New Haven County Emergency Room, breaking the previously held Ivy League record of 18 different stabbing instances.
While returning to his dorm from a late night of slapping other men’s butts for “initiation purposes”, Mercini was confronted by a man wearing a wife beater and sweatpants who demanded Mercini’s wallet. “I mean, at first, I was a little surprised,” said Mercini, who was in the process of receiving his third blood transfusion of the day during our interview. “But then, I kind of saw it as an opportunity. I knew that if things were to go south, I’d be making history.”
When Mercini fumbled while removing his wallet, the man become impatient and stabbed Mercini in the lower left abdomen. “From the moment that blade went in, I knew I recognized the stab wound as made by Robbie,” Mercini said. “He had gotten me three times before, always entering my stomach at about a 50 degree angle. Everyone around here says that no one skewers you quite like Robbie does [chuckling then writhing].”
To date, Mercini has been stabbed three times in the left pectoral, eight times in the large intestine, twice in his right ribcage, four times in the stomach, and once in the left calf during Yale’s new student orientation program. “All new students are required to be stabbed in order for them to become acquainted with the searing pain and what to do in the situation,” said Ms. Carol Ferguson, who has organized new student orientation at Yale since 2004. “And, of course, we like them to get a bit of a head start on breaking the coveted stabbing streak.”
According to his family, Mercini had always wanted to break the Ivy League record, previously set by Penn senior Alexandra Lopez in 1993. “When it came time to really think about where to apply, Yale was the only place that would allow him to follow his dreams,” Tony’s mother Diane Mercini said. “I was initially hesitant, as I couldn’t imagine my boy ever being hurt in such an awful manner. But after the fourth incident during his first semester, I really came to grips with it.”
Mrs. Mercini was put in contact with a Yale support group for parents of students who have been victims of violent crimes called “What Did You Expect?.” “All of the reading material they offered me was extremely helpful and let me know that I wasn’t alone,” Mrs. Mercini said. “No, really, there are hundreds of people at every meeting. It’s actually great networking.”
Asked what’s next for him, Mercini unable comment as doctors pushed this reporter from the hospital room doorway as the crash cart was wheeled in.