Minneapolis police continue riot investigation

Joanna Dornfeld

The Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office charged three University students and one Minneapolis man for their alleged involvement in the Dinkytown melee following the Gophers’ national hockey championship Saturday night.

As the smoke clears from the post-game rubble, debate from students and parents over whether police used excessive force to control the crowd has risen. The Minnesota Daily’s editor in chief has expressed public concern that police attacked journalists who were covering the event.

Minneapolis police arrested 25 people Saturday, at least 11 were University students.

“I think they just needed a few people to take the fall,” said Tyler Parsons, a history sophomore. “I’m not sure why they charged the few they did.”

Parsons was charged with two gross misdemeanors – riot in the third degree and obstruction of the legal process or arrest. He was also charged with disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor.

Parsons yelled at the officers and encouraged the group to throw bottles and rocks at police, according to the criminal complaint.

“I was advocating for citizens’ rights,” Parsons said. “I was yelling at police to be humane.”

When police tried to apprehend Parsons, he kicked and punched the officers, according to the complaint.

“They captured me and beat me and handcuffed me and didn’t read me my rights, and they put me in the van,” he said.

Parsons said he was released at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Andrew McLain, a 25-year-old Minneapolis resident, was charged with two misdemeanors – disorderly conduct and indecent exposure. He was also charged with riot in the third degree, according to the criminal complaint.

McLain threw snowballs at officers and mooned them, according to the criminal complaint.

Douglas Weigel, a University senior, was charged with fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor. He threw a rock that hit a police officer in the neck, according to the criminal complaint.

Adam Jablonski, a University junior, was charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor. He was part of a group that pushed over trash cans, and he was “yelling and swearing and out of control,” according to the criminal complaint.

McLain, Weigel and Jablonski were unavailable for comment.

Minneapolis police Sgt. Medaria Arradondo said there were probably a lot more people participating in destructive behavior than police arrested.

“The arrests were made on officers’ observations,” he said.

Minneapolis police Chief Robert Olson doesn’t think officers used undue force Saturday, Arradondo said.

But several students have contacted University Student Legal Services regarding Saturday night’s riot, said Robert McCormick, a staff attorney.

Students who pay Student Services Fees can seek legal representation from Student Legal Services if they were charged with a misdemeanor, McCormick said. Legal Services can’t represent students seeking civil damages but can refer them to private attorneys, he said.

Olson would like anyone with concerns that police used excessive force Saturday to make a complaint, Arradondo said.

“There has not been one complaint brought forth to our internal affairs unit,” Arradondo said.

Minnesota Daily Editor in Chief Mike Wereschagin will meet with Olson and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak on Wednesday to discuss police treatment of Daily reporters and photographers who were covering the riot.

“They were clearly not rioters,” he said. “They were clearly members of the press. Despite that, they were maced, knocked to the ground and hit with clubs.”

Olson is looking forward to meeting with Wereschagin, Arradondo said.