Commons Hotel workers find unexpected guest

U of M police also arrested a student after he rolled on top of a police car.

Nick Wicker

When employees at the Commons Hotel found a man sleeping under tables in the building late Wednesday night, they soon learned it was his fourth night doing so.

Alex Karls, acting manager for the overnight crew on Wednesday, was doing his nightly security rounds when he said he noticed blankets and pillows piled underneath some tables on the building’s second floor.

Karls said he then rushed downstairs and told a co-worker to call the University of Minnesota Police Department.

The previous day, hotel employees had asked the same man to leave, Karls said, but the man had been sleeping in the hotel without permission for four days.

Officers arrived in five minutes, but left when they couldn’t find the suspect anywhere in the building, Karls said.

Karls said he happened upon the suspect again soon after when he walked into the bathroom and saw the man standing in a handicapped stall. He said he called for University police again.

Once officers arrived for the second time, they located the man pacing inside the stall. Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said the man refused to leave and said he had to use the toilet.

After asking him repeatedly to exit the stall, Miner said the officers heard the man rustling through his belongings.

Worried he might have weapons, the officers mounted the adjacent toilet and raised a Taser over the stall’s wall, prompting the man to submit to an arrest, Miner said.

Man arrested after ‘gyrating’ on car


Officers witnessed a 21-year-old University student “gyrating his hips” against a vehicle on the 400 block of 13th Avenue Southeast in the early hours of Friday morning, according to a police report.

When police asked the man whether he owned the vehicle in question, he “proceeded to barrel roll” over the hood of the officer’s unmarked car, the report said.

Officers then stopped the student and administered a breathalyzer test after noticing he was swaying for balance, slurring his words and had alcohol on his breath.

The test resulted in a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.23, according to the report. The student was cited for disorderly conduct and brought to the Hennepin County Medical Center.

Following more than 90 alcohol-related citations on the weekend of Sept. 5, Miner said police issued only nine this weekend.

There were fewer people walking around with open containers than the previous week, he said, and the figure could have been the result of a temperature dip.

Police are trying to crack down on alcohol enforcements to prevent students from drinking and making themselves easy targets for robberies and other crimes, Miner said.

Man tries to strangle Fairview employee

University police arrived to the University’s Medical Center, Fairview, on Wednesday to find a suspect of a misdemeanor assault already under citizen’s arrest, Miner said.

One of the hospital’s patients, a man not affiliated with the University, had physically assaulted a clinic employee earlier that afternoon, according to a police report.

Miner said the incident began when the man violently swung his cane at a nursing station technician, alerting the building security.

After he was discharged from the hospital, Miner said the man had planned on taking a taxi home until the cab driver refused to take him, saying the arrestee was being aggressive and begging for money.

The same nursing technician later found him wandering the hospital’s floors with his gown untied and his pants around his ankles, Miner said.

She then followed him to the elevator lobby, where he began to scream and squeeze both hands around her neck, Miner said.

Miner said the woman later told police she was “in fear for her life.”

Another nearby elevator opened, and it wasn’t until people exited it that the woman was able to free herself, Miner said. Additional staff arrived and helped put the man under citizen’s arrest until officers arrived to apprehend him.