Trespasser to appeal ban

by Sarah McKenzie

A Hennepin County judge placed a 56-year-old man on one-year probation Monday for violating a trespass notice issued by the University Police.
Edgar Coleman was arrested by University Police Feb. 18 for trespassing and lurking with the intent to commit a crime. He served 12 days in jail after the arrest.
Coleman has received more than 20 citations for trespassing, begging and vagrancy in the past two years, according to Hennepin County records.
A Hennepin County public defender representing Edgar Coleman said she will appeal the judge’s ruling to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
University Police issued Coleman a trespass citation five days before he was arrested in the tunnel between Smith Hall and Walter Library on Feb. 18. The citation puts restrictions on where he can be on the East Bank until May 13.
Judge Diana Eagon said that Coleman must serve 78 days in the county workhouse if he is found in Smith Hall or Coffman Union, nor can he enter any tunnel or building after business hours.
Nancy Laskaris, an assistant Hennepin County public defender, argues the trespass citation is simply too broad.
Coleman should only be barred from buildings where he is disruptive, Laskaris said.
She called the trespass citation, encompassing an entire portion of campus, unconstitutional and unfair.
“The University of Minnesota is an urban school,” Laskaris said. “All elements of society should be allowed.”
Laskaris said Coleman told her police in the past would simply pick him up any time they ran into him on campus and drop him off on the St. Paul campus.
Eagon said the trespass citation issued by University Police is valid and constitutional.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals has overruled overly broad trespass citations before, Eagon said. Only individuals can determine whether or not someone is allowed on their property.
Trespass citations at the University are a different issue, Eagon said. She said the University owns and occupies all of the buildings, therefore, they have the authority to issue broader trespass citations.