Cigar swipe leads to violence in Dinkytown

Another assault left one student with multiple injuries.

by Bryna Godar

A fight in Dinkytown early Saturday morning ended with a University of Minnesota student bleeding from his head and a broken windshield, police said.

While walking home from Blarney Pub and Grill around 2:30 a.m., Geoffrey Hoss and two friends encountered a group of guys, Hoss said.

“One of the guys just grabbed a cigar from my friend’s mouth,” said Hoss, an economics senior.

Hoss said that when he tried to get it back, one of the men in the group hit him on the side of the head.

The man whose cigar was taken was punched multiple times and fell to the ground, according to a police report.

Brian Dent said he and his wife woke up to commotion outside and looked out the window of their house at Seventh Street and 11th Avenue Southeast.

Dent said he saw about 15 people and “a gentleman who looked to be injured in front of my car.”

Hoss said his head split open after being smashed against the windshield. He was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance, according to the police report.

Hoss had a minor concussion and required six staples for his head injury.

“This seems to be kind of a recurring thing,” Dent said, citing a similar violent incident two weekends ago.

The suspects were gone by the time police arrived.

There have been nine aggravated assaults reported in the 2nd Precinct as of July 2, compared to six at the same time last year, said Nick Juarez, crime prevention specialist for the precinct.

Student assaulted by acquaintance

Around 4 a.m. Sunday a University student was assaulted by an acquaintance who called that night wanting to talk.

Neuroscience junior Gabe De Los Rios said he went outside his home near the 800 block of Fourth Street Southeast with two friends to talk with the man.

“He was hiding behind a dumpster in their back parking lot and came out started yelling at Gabe,” said Michael Thai, a student at St. Olaf College and friend of De Los Rios.

The man was upset because De Los Rios is good friends with his girlfriend, Thai said.

“When we were talking, he just took a cheap shot out of the blue, a sucker punch, and got me one or two times,” De Los Rios said.

Thai said the man backed off when Thai and his friend stepped up, but the man kept yelling and then “came at Gabe again.”

At that point, his friend stepped in and got him off De Los Rios, Thai said.

“That was the end of the fighting — it was pretty much talking from there,” Thai said. “We cooled him down, and his whole attitude changed really quickly.”

Thai said after about 10 or 15 minutes of talking to him, they got the man to leave.

De Los Rios went to the hospital with a laceration above his left eye and discovered his jaw was broken in two places.

Juarez said cases in which bones are broken or weapons are used are treated as felonies and handled by the Minneapolis police assault unit.