Normandale student pleads guilty in April 12 hockey riots

by Branden Peterson

The Normandale student charged with igniting an overturned vehicle in the April 12 hockey riots pleaded guilty Friday in Hennepin County Court.

Ahmad Salah Samaha, 19, was charged with second-degree arson. In court, Samaha admitted using a burning branch to ignite spilling gas from a Hyundai parked outside Erbert & Gerbert’s on the corner of Fourth Street Southeast.

District Judge Lucy Wieland sentenced Samaha to four months in the county workhouse, three years of probation and also told him to pay $500 to the Minnesota Crime Victim Reparations Board.

Wieland also ordered Samaha to write two apology letters to the car’s owner and to the University community.

Six other felony cases stemming from the riots have been charged, with four yet to go to trial.