Saturday, March 16, 2002

Pitt/CMU Turf War Tears Apart Craig Street

During the early morning hours last Saturday, the Oakland home of University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark Nordenberg was inundated with .38 Caliber bullets in what was apparently a drive-by shooting. The shooting left two people injured, butler Jules Anthony III and chauffeur Steven Ambrack, both employees of Nordenberg's estate. Nordenberg was supposedly home at the time of the shooting. Pittsburgh Police reported that this more than likely was a continuation of what has been a spat of gang-related actions perpetrated between Carnegie Mellon University President Jared Cohon and Nordenberg.

Later on that week, the responsibility for the malicious crime was claimed by Cohon and his CMU (Cronies Maxin' tha Undaground) crew. Cohon released a statement last Tuesday through a Carnegie Mellon spokesperson that read, “Somebody must have been praying for that fool, ‘cause I swear I aimed right for his head. Punks like MN best get their bitches off my street. We been layin' down ho's and commercial technology ventures up in dat since MN been maxin’ on his momma’s titties. I catch MN, I'm putting a bullet in his brain.”

In a reactionary statement to the shooting, this week Nordenberg secured $240 million in technology grants from the State of Pennsylvania which were earmarked for Cohon, and released the following statement through University of Pittsburgh spokesperson Robert Hill: “Am I the only one who can’t believe this insanity? Jared Cohon is delirious and should be found, tried, and prosecuted. Does he even realize that he is a middle-aged white University administrator and not some hoodlum gangster? Originally I thought he was just having a nervous breakdown, but driving around in a 1964 Cadillac and shooting up my home is just taking this too far.”

The area in dispute between the two gangs is commonly referred to as Craig Street, which is located directly between the University of Pittsburgh campus, turf commonly known to be held by Nordenberg, and Carnegie Mellon University, turf known to be held by Cohon. For the past two years, the two gangs have vied for influence on the street, a key area for both prostitution and biotechnology venture capital.

The rift was supposedly caused by a legal action by Nordenberg against Cohon last year over a building reported to be the home of a new technology center funded by Pitt and Intel. Cohon responded to the litigation by spray painting gang epithets around the building and sending the CMU football team to accost and beat up unsuspecting Pitt Honors College students walking to class. The violence was escalated further when it was reported that Pitt hired celebrity lawyer David Boies to aid in the lawsuit. Cohon's statement at this time was: “Something wrong? Yeah. It's just too bad you don't know what it is... brother.”

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