Over the three-day stretch of the University of Minnesota’s 100th homecoming celebration last weekend, police issued around 60 citations for “incivility,” police Chief Greg Hestness said.
Those instances include all illegal activity associated with rowdy celebrations — like disturbances and public drunkenness — during the parade, concert and football game both on campus and in surrounding neighborhoods, Hestness said.
He said at least 10 students needed hospitalization because of alcohol over the weekend.
Despite the dozens of citations and some instances of alcohol-related medical problems, Hestness said the weekend was relatively smooth for police.
Youths attack off-duty officer
A University police officer was on her way to work early Sunday morning, in plainclothes and driving her own personal vehicle, when her path was obstructed by a group of young people, Hestness said.
According to a police report, the incident occurred between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Pillsbury Drive Southeast between the University Field House and the Civil Engineering Building.
Hestness said the officer slammed on her breaks to avoid hitting a man who had jumped in the car’s path. He said the man then advanced toward the vehicle while aggressively yelling profanities and making gang signs with his hands.
The officer honked her horn at the group of people, but they did not move. Instead, Hestness said, the individual who had stepped in front of the car then hopped onto the vehicle’s trunk.
The officer accelerated, forcing the man to jump off of the back of the car, he said, then contacted dispatch and received backup.
According to the report, the man who jumped on the officer’s vehicle was booked for disorderly conduct.
“This is kind of juvenile behavior for gang members,” Hestness said. “I don’t know if they are actual members of gangs, or just imitators.”
Peddler illegally sells on campus
A 33-year-old man was cited and issued a trespassing warning Thursday for selling candy bars without a permit on the Washington Avenue Bridge, a police report said.
When plainclothes officers confronted the man — who is not affiliated with the University — on the bridge’s pedestrian level, he showed them a permit to peddle in the city of St. Paul and told officers he knew he needed a separate one for Minneapolis.
Hestness said the process for obtaining a permit to peddle, though not particularly strenuous, wouldn’t have helped the man in this case. Even with a Minneapolis peddling license, the man would need permission from the University to sell his wares on campus grounds, Hestness said.
It wasn’t the man’s first offense of this nature. According to the police report, officers had arrested the man “on several occasions” for peddling without a license since 2000. The report said that in 2009 officers also apprehended him while trespassing on campus.
Although this case involved a repeat offender, Hestness said this was UMPD’s first time dealing with a citation for peddling without a license since 2010.
Target assists police in card hunt
A student fell victim to a wallet thief on Saturday afternoon and had more than one ID and a debit card stolen, a police report said.
The thief later fraudulently used the debit card at TargetExpress and “an unknown gas station,” the report said. The card was also declined at Dinkytown’s McDonald’s location.
Officers tried but were unable to get video surveillance footage of the culprit from Target, so the company’s security service, Assets Protection and Loss Prevention, will follow up on the footage, according to the report.
Hestness said Assets Protection’s forensic investigation abilities add to Target’s usefulness and cooperation with police.
“We might work with any business, but Target in particular is kind of a rock star with working with law enforcement,” Hestness said.