Police pick up unwanted visitors

The crackdown on trespassers is meant to make students more comfortable.

Elizabeth Cook

At approximately 8 p.m. Thursday, officers responded to a report of an intoxicated man at Coffman Union.

According to police reports, officers found the man in the theater and escorted him out. The suspect could not walk on his own, smelled of alcohol and had urinated on himself.

According to reports, routine police checks confirmed that the suspect already had an active trespassing warning for the University East Bank buildings.

The suspect was issued a trespassing citation.

While officers were transporting the suspect to detox, he urinated in the back of the squad car, police said.

An additional citation was written for indecent conduct and the suspect was released to the detox staff.

Jason Hancock, a director responsible for facilities and operations of the University’s student unions, said Coffman Union is cracking down on trespassers.

Now police are called anytime there is a disturbance at the building, which can result in a trespassing citation, Hancock said.

In the past six months, there have been eight trespassing incidents. Three have occurred so far this fall, Hancock said.

“The bottom line is that we don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable here,” Hancock said.

Bike saved from thief

On Wednesday, police spotted a known University-area thief with a bike.

According to reports, when officers asked the suspect where he had gotten the bicycle, he said he found it near the Northrop Mall area.

The suspect said it was not locked up, so he took it.

Police took pictures of the suspect with the bike, and the suspect was released.

The bike was taken to police headquarters, where it is still being held, said Steve Johnson, deputy police chief for the University Police Department.

Johnson encourages students to report all suspicious activity they see near bike racks.

Motorist strikes cyclist

A student was struck by a car while riding his bicycle last week.

On Sept. 11, officers responded to a call in which the driver said he was traveling down University Avenue Southeast and attempting to make a right-hand turn onto 14th Avenue Southeast when he hit a bicyclist.

A witness told police he saw the vehicle pass the bike before it struck the bicyclist when turning onto 14th Avenue Southeast.

The biker’s arm shattered the car’s passenger-side mirror and his arm was bleeding, Cook said.

“As a bike rider, it really made you think,” Cook said.

The student was cut on his left arm and appeared to need stitches, according to the police report. He was transported to the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.

No citations were issued in the accident.

Johnson said bicycle accidents do happen on campus, but not all the time.

The number one cause of car-bike accidents is when the riders are opposing traffic, he said.

Bike accidents can be very dangerous, especially if the bicyclist is not wearing a helmet, Johnson said.