Campus Crime Update: Assaults in Marcy-Holmes jump in June

UMPD continues to address a rise in trespassing, which may be causing an increase in thefts, officials say.

by Mohamed Ibrahim

Recent crime trends indicate a rise in assaults in the campus neighborhood of Marcy-Holmes while University of Minnesota officials have noted a drop in violent crime on campus.

Aggravated assault numbers in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood this June show a steep increase compared to last year while violent crimes on campus decreased this past school year from the 2017-18 year. The University of Minnesota Police Department continues to deal with property crimes, in part due to a rise in trespassing on campus property, authorities said. 

A student was arrested June 15 at the intersection of University Avenue Southeast and Church Street Southeast after falling asleep in an Uber and refusing to leave the car when a UMPD officer attempted to wake him. The man threatened to “beat up” the officer before he was forcibly removed from the car, sustaining a head injury during the arrest. While in handcuffs, a breathalyzer test showed he had a breath alcohol content of 0.205. He was taken to the University of Minnesota Medical Center East Bank for detox after paramedics treated his head injury on the scene.

UMPD also received reports of criminal sexual assault June 14 and assault June 16. 

The Marcy-Holmes neighborhood saw an increase in aggravated assaults, rising from two incidents in the first half of June 2018 to 10 during the same period this year, according to Minneapolis Police Department crime data. The total number of aggravated assaults this year in the neighborhood has more than doubled with 23 as of June 21, compared to 11 over the same timeframe in 2018. There were no reported assaults in the Cedar-Riverside, Southeast Como and Prospect Park neighborhoods this month as of June 21.

In contrast, violent crimes on campus saw a drop from 11 in the 2017-18 school year to eight in the 2018-19 academic year, according to UMPD Chief Matt Clark. As burglaries on campus have slightly risen to start the summer, Clark said the uptick is related to a more than 50 percent increase in trespassing on campus.

“[We’re] making sure that we’re documenting that and we’re escorting [trespassers] out, and at times we’ll issue a citation or arrest them,” he said.

UMPD has responded to 15 instances of trespassing in University buildings since June 1, according to UMPD’s daily crime log. Reports included an individual found tampering with a bike at Coffman Union Wednesday and an individual with a warrant for his arrest in the Oak Street Parking Ramp Thursday. The department is addressing the issue by doing more frequent patrols through campus buildings and encouraging students, faculty and staff to report suspicious behavior, Clark said.