Around noon Thursday, University of Minnesota junior Sara Gorman waited for her bus at the corner of 27th and Como avenues Southeast.
As she stood, phone in hand, she said a man approached her and joined her in the bus shelter. Gorman said she thought he was simply waiting as well, but after about a minute, he spun around and began to threaten her with a concealed weapon.
“He whipped around and had something in his sweatshirt that he was pointing at me — but it was hidden — and said, ‘Give me everything you have,’” Gorman said.
The man continued to threaten her and grew angrier at her awestruck response, Gorman said. As his threats became more vulgar, he pressed the weapon against her face, she said.
At that point, Gorman said she realized the object wasn’t a gun and decided to resist when the man reached for her phone.
“He was trying to grab my phone with his left hand, which is why I’m guessing I could easily grab it back from him,” she said.
At that point, the suspect moved on, picking up the victim’s backpack and fleeing the bus stop shelter, according to an email crime alert sent to the University community Friday.
It was then that a passerby saw what was happening and chased down the suspect, Gorman said. The aiding stranger retrieved the backpack and forced the suspect to drop his sweatshirt, revealing the screwdriver it had been concealing, she said.
“I don’t know who he was or anything,” Gorman said, adding that the stranger asked if he should stay, but she insisted he catch the bus and go to class.
Minneapolis police are investigating the crime and searching for the suspect, who fled north on 27th Avenue Southeast and may have driven off in a gray vehicle, according to a police report.
Man arrested for trespassing in East Bank building
Officers reported to Weaver-Densford Hall at about 7 p.m. Friday, where they found a man trying to board an elevator inside the building, according to a police report.
The University of Minnesota Police Department had received a call that the individual had been “aggressively panhandling and swearing at passersby,” the report said.
The suspect was in violation of an existing trespass warning, the report said, so police reissued the warning, cited the man and escorted him out of the area.
Because he had been previously warned, the suspect was not allowed on any East Bank campus buildings, University police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said.
“We issue trespass warnings when they’re involved in harassing or threatening or disruptive behavior,” Miner said.
The University’s Building Access Program wouldn’t have stopped this crime since it happened at 6:40 p.m. on a Friday when the doors weren’t set to lock, he said.
Surveillance cameras aid in multiple citations
Employees of the University’s Department of Central Security were monitoring video surveillance when they spotted two men — neither of whom is affiliated with the University — attempting to steal a bicycle from racks in front of the Recreation and Wellness Center, according to a police report.
They also saw one of those two men, along with a third suspect, urinating on the Minnesota International Center about a block away on University Avenue Southeast, the report said.
Police stopped and cited the three men — two with lurking with intent to commit crime and two with urinating in public, the report said.