Group robs U student at gunpoint

Two Augsburg College students also said they were assaulted in Dinkytown for being homosexual.

Kevin Behr

A University student stared down the barrel of a gun early Tuesday.

James Bourque, a political science junior, left home on Sixth Street Southeast in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood about 1 a.m. when a group of men approached him, he said.

One of them asked Bourque whether he wanted to buy the drug Ecstasy, he said. Bourque said he turned to walk away and one of the men punched him in the face.

“I fell to one knee,” he said, “And when I turned around, there was a gun in my face.”

The group demanded money from Bourque and after he gave them the $60 in his wallet, they told him to run away, according to the police report.

Bourque left the group and avoided any more harm than a bruise from the punch, he said.

Minneapolis Police Lt. Greg Reinhardt said an investigator was being assigned to the case. It is too early to determine whether the attack was related to other crimes in the area, he said.

Bourque said the attack was “pretty well orchestrated, like they’d done it before,” and not just a random incident.

Assault fueled by hate

Early Saturday, two Augsburg College students were attacked for being gay, they said.

Sociology senior Donovan Lessard and Walter Gies, a social work junior, walked into a party in Dinkytown when Gies was confronted about a scarf he was wearing, Lessard said.

Lessard responded by telling the man both he and Gies were gay.

“They started calling us ‘faggots’ and ‘fudge-packers,’ ” Gies said. “They told us to get out of the house.”

Lessard and Gies left the party, got on their bicycles and started riding away when they were attacked, Lessard said.

A group of about a dozen men knocked Lessard and Gies from their bikes and surrounded Lessard, threatening to beat him, he said.

“(Lessard) was in the middle, covering his head,” Gies said. Gies and a woman from the party ran into the circle and yelled for the group to disperse, he said.

The group broke up and allowed Lessard and Gies to leave, Gies said.

“This is a social issue,” Lessard said. “It’s almost a regular part of the weekend, especially if you wander into (Dinkytown).”

15 U laptops stolen

Sometime between Friday, Sept. 15 and Monday, Sept. 18, 15 laptops were taken from a storage room in Elliot Hall, University Police Deputy Chief Steve Johnson said.

Guillermo De Paz, assistant to the head of the psychology department, said the laptops were used exclusively for classes and do not contain students’ personal data.

“I’m confident that no data was compromised,” he said.

There were no signs of forced entry, suggesting the perpetrator had a key to the storage room, Johnson said.

As a result, every lock in Elliot Hall will be replaced, he said.

Johnson encouraged anyone with information regarding the case to call University police at (612) 624-COPS.