Alcohol citations spike

Police issued 26 alcohol-related citations over the warm weekend.

Jake Stark

 

University police issued 26 alcohol-related citations during Spring Jam weekend. Those citations included underage consumption, underage possession, public consumption and driving while intoxicated.

“That’s definitely more than a typical weekend,” said University police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner.

At last year’s Spring Jam, University and Minneapolis police issued at least 13 alcohol-related citations.

Miner attributed the increase in citations to the warmer weather.

“People get some cabin fever after all these months of cold weather,” he said.

A man was arrested Saturday night after attempting to punch multiple University of Minnesota police officers, according to a police report.

Officers saw the man, 22, fighting with his friends just after 10 p.m. near Coffman Union, the report said.

When the officers approached him, he “immediately began swinging his arms,” trying to punch them, the report said.

The officers subdued him, and according to the report, they found an empty “bottle of prescription narcotics and a half full bottle of vodka” in his backpack.

Paramedics transported the suspect to the University Medical Center, Fairview, and the officers cited him for obstruction of justice.

“That was probably the most exciting thing that happened at Spring Jam,” Miner said.

Despite the high number of citations, he said, University police were happy with the weekend’s events.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen so many people on University Avenue before,” he said. “But most of them behaved themselves, so we’re pretty pleased.”

Man’s garage nearly set on fire

The garage of a Minneapolis man was broken into and nearly set ablaze early Saturday near Van Cleve Park, according to a Minneapolis police report.

The man’s neighbor told him he saw smoke rising out of a detached garage at about 9:15 a.m., the report said. The man, who is not affiliated with the University, entered his garage and found charcoal burning on the ground.

The pieces of charcoal were sitting on several window panes that were being held up by shovels and rakes, the report said — like a campfire. The fire burned through the glass windows, setting the wooden handles of the shovels and rakes on fire.

Before the fire spread to the rest of the garage, the owner safely put it out, the report said. Investigators currently have no physical evidence or suspect information.

The officer who filed the report wrote that he assumed the suspect had started the fire to stay warm. A folding chair was sitting in front of the fire when the owner first discovered it.

“This is just the officer’s opinion,” said Minneapolis police Sgt. Steve McCarty. “We’re not exactly sure what went on there.”

The circumstances surrounding the fire were highly unusual, McCarty said. People rarely break into garages to keep warm, he said, and makeshift fires are even less common.

If investigators locate any suspects, they could potentially cite them for arson and burglary, McCarty said.

“You don’t necessarily have to take anything for it to be burglary,” he said. “Just the act of breaking into a house is enough.”