Police cite 27 for alcohol use during first week of classes

by Justin Costley

Classes started last week and so did the partying. Twenty-seven alcohol-related citations were handed out on campus, but police officials say it’s nothing new.
One of the 27 violators, University freshman Daniel Lynch, was ticketed by University Police for minor consumption while walking near Fulton and Ontario streets.
Lynch said he and a friend were returning to their dorm from a party when they were confronted by two other males.
After a brief scuffle, Lynch and his friend continued to proceed home, when Lynch said he was stopped by the University Police, given a breath test for alcohol and cited for minor consumption.
Lynch said the confrontation did not have to do with alcohol, but with the men arguing with them and pushing them.
“I guess (the police) probably thought we were just fighting because we had been drinking, but that was totally not the story in this case,” Lynch said. “I don’t think the alcohol is what really made it happen.”
University Police Lt. Rick Giese said during the first week and weekend back to school, the University Police continue with their normal routine for patrolling the University community.
He added while there is a greater chance of police being called to a residence hall late at night than to an academic hall, they do not concentrate their efforts on the residence halls.
Not all 27 of the citations were issued by University Police. Sixteen of them were issued by the Minneapolis Police Department.
Minneapolis police officer Robert Patrick said the number of arrests during the first week back at school is normal and expected.
Patrick said he attributes most of the citations to the numerous new students on campus and old friends reuniting.
“There’s a whole lot of students, probably, who haven’t been with their old buddies or whatever for the summer, and now they’re here,” Patrick said. “The first weekend, historically, for me anyway, is a bit hectic.”
He considers peer pressure a major factor driving underage drinking and said it is normal for college areas.
“All your buddies are out drinking and you just aren’t quite 21, or maybe you’re 19 and you want to fit in and so you go along with the game,” Patrick said.

In other police news:
ùSamuel Schnoor, a University graduate student, positively identified a 19-year-old University student as the man who attacked his friend, Justin Osborne, after midnight Sunday.
According to a Minneapolis Police Department report, Osborne and Schnoor encountered the suspect and several of his friends on the sidewalk between University and Fourth Street S.E. on 13th Avenue. The suspect then attacked Osborne “for no reason,” according to Schnoor’s statement to police.
Schnoor and Osborne found off-duty Minneapolis police officer Pat Kiely half a block away soon after the incident.
Schnoor identified Osborne’s attacker and several of his friends as they walked North on Fourth Street while Kiely was taking the witness’ statement.
Osborne was taken to Fairview-University Medical Center for treatment of unspecified head injuries after the suspect was identified.
The suspect was not arrested.

Staff Reporter Mike Wereschagin contributed to this report.
Justin Costley covers the police and courts and welcomes comments at [email protected] He can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3224.