UMN Campus Crime Update: Aggravated assaults on the rise near campus

Cedar-Riverside and Marcy-Holmes have both seen spikes in aggravated assault as of Nov. 5 this year.

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Taylor Schroeder

Aggravated assaults have increased in neighborhoods surrounding the University of Minnesota from 2018 to 2019. 

Crime trends

Cedar-Riverside, Marcy-Holmes, Southeast Como and Prospect Park have all seen a rise in aggravated assaults, according to Minneapolis Police Department crime statistics. Other violent crimes such as rape, robbery, domestic assault and homicide do not show clear trends from year-to-year. 

Aggravated assaults in Cedar-Riverside saw the greatest increase at 208 percent, from 13 instances in 2018 to 40 instances in 2019, as of Nov. 5. Marcy-Holmes saw the second greatest increase at 65 percent, from 31 instances to 51 instances.

Southeast Como and Prospect Park, neighborhoods that attract less crime than Cedar-Riverside and Marcy-Holmes, also saw small increases. Aggravated assaults in Southeast Como rose from seven to 11 compared to last year. Prospect Park had a rise of two aggravated assaults, as of Nov. 5.

Notable Crimes

On Oct. 26 at 4:26 p.m., the University of Minnesota Police Department responded to a call from Diehl Hall of a man who was stabbed with a hypodermic needle during a study session. 

The suspect was walking around empty bookshelves and staring at the victim. When the victim walked downstairs to get help from security, the suspect followed him with his hands in his waistband.

On the second floor of Diehl Hall, the victim began talking with the front desk staff. Meanwhile, the suspect approached the desk and asked about where a ‘leisure place like a movie theater or restaurant’ would be. The victim pointed him toward Moos Tower. As the suspect was walking away, he stabbed the victim with a sharp object in his upper left leg.

The victim reported feeling a burn on his leg, where he found a bleeding puncture wound. Camera operators were able to locate the suspect for UMPD. Police found the suspect holding a knife at Washington Avenue Southeast and Church Street Southeast. Officers tasered the suspect and took him into custody, later finding a needle in his possession. 

The suspect, who tested positive for Hepatitis C, was charged with a felony for second degree assault.

On Nov. 4 at 10:24 a.m., UMPD was dispatched to 19th Avenue Parking Ramp on a report of a suspicious person on the uppermost level. 

UMPD found the suspect in an elevator lobby, talking to himself and walking in circles. The officers reported they recognized the suspect from multiple encounters regarding him sleeping in University parking ramps.

After officers made contact with the suspect, he began shouting expletives at them. The officers informed the suspect he was being detained and escorted him from the ramp despite his resistance.

The suspect was brought to Hennepin County Jail on charges of obstructing legal process. He was also issued a trespass warning for his behavior.