Armed man attempts to rob bicyclist on East Bank

by Kia Farhang

An armed man on a bicycle tried to rob another cyclist at gunpoint near the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview on Thursday night, University police said.

The incident is the third on or near campus to trigger a University-wide crime alert this summer, though in this case the suspect didn’t harm the victim or take anything from him.

The victim, who is not affiliated with the University, was biking home around 9:45 p.m. and believed the suspect started following him near the East Franklin Avenue Bridge, according to a crime alert sent to University students, faculty and staff.

He told police the suspect displayed a handgun at the intersection of Harvard Street Southeast and East River Road and demanded his valuables.

A passing car distracted the suspect and allowed the victim to escape, the crime alert said.

Crime in the University area has decreased for years, but a rash of violent crime on and around campus last fall triggered a strong response from University officials.

The school’s new access program restricts hours at most of the buildings on the Twin Cities campus.