Carload cited for minor consumption

Jesse Weisbeck

University Police Officer Patricia Gjerde was on a routine patrol when a scream pierced the Friday night sky.
She noticed a Toyota Corolla pulling away from 18th Street and University Avenue crammed with seven University students.
But the car wasn’t what caught her eye.
Instead, it was a screaming 20-year-old University student hanging halfway out of the right side passenger window that prompted Gjerde to pull the vehicle over.
In a police report, the passenger said she was hanging out of the window to wave goodbye to men in a nearby fraternity house.
After Gjerde pulled over the silver sedan, she approached the driver, who is also a University student, and smelled alcohol in the car.
Gjerde discovered, via a breathalyzer test, that all six passengers had been drinking and cited each for minor consumption. The driver was not drinking, but was driving without a valid license.
The car was subsequently towed to the Hennepin County impound lot.

In other police news:

ù In one fell swoop, an unidentified thief stole about $3,600 in merchandise from a University research assistant’s home on the St. Paul campus Monday.
The theft equaled about three-fourths of the amount of merchandise stolen all last week from campus: $5,540.
Zhaokun Tong, who lives in the Commonwealth Terrace Cooperative, left his room at 10:30 a.m. When he returned at 2:30 p.m., his $1,400 Pentium computer, fax machine, camcorder and $1,000 in calling cards were all gone.
“It’s not too typical,” said University Police Detective Charles Miner of burglary in the area.
There were no signs of forced entry, Miner said. However, witnesses reported seeing suspicious people lurking in the area.
University police have no suspects.

ù A 63-year-old Mechanical Engineering professor suffered a medical emergency Friday while he was at his office on the University’s East Bank.
University Police responded to a call from room 215 of the Mechanical Engineering building shortly before 4 p.m., where they found Subbiah Ramalingam sitting in a chair.
University Police officer Erik Stenemann, who was at the scene of the incident, said he wasn’t sure what happened to Ramalingam, but speculated that it might have been heart-related. Stenemann added that the professor has no history of heart problems.
An ambulance arrived shortly after the police and rushed Ramalingam to the Fairview-University Medical Center.
After paramedics hoisted Ramalingam into the gurney, however, they had trouble finding an elevator that would fit the stretcher.
Ramalingam, who has taught at the University since 1981, is listed in good condition at the Fairview hospital on campus. He asked that the nature of his illness not be printed.

ù A 12-year-old St. Paul foster child was reported missing to University Police on Saturday afternoon when he and a friend failed to inform anyone of their whereabouts.
A 17-year-old friend reportedly met the boy at noon on a street corner in St. Paul to “hang out.” They were reported missing shortly after.
“We were kind of worried,” said the older child’s mother, whose name is being withheld to protect the identity of the juvenile. “He’s only 12 and strange things can happen.”
The pair had apparently gone to the Rosedale Mall without telling anyone.
However, later in the afternoon — after 4 p.m. — the guardians received a call from the older child, who said they were at the mall.
— Staff columnist Alan Bjerga contributed to this report.