Police respond to football fans’ scuffle

Jim Martyka

As the National Football League’s best teams battled each other in the playoffs over the weekend, emotions ran high for at least two Minnesota Vikings fans.
Two men were charged with assault Friday night at a house in Dinkytown after a fight that began over the recent play of the Green Bay Packers.
“We were having a good time, and next thing you know there’s people swearing at us about our house,” said Dan Altman, an Institute of Technology sophomore and witness to the incident.
Packers decorations, such as a Packers logos spray painted on the front sidewalk, adorn the resident’s house.
Altman said a group of five people started yelling about the Packers decorations as he and some of his roommates left the house. The five people were also shouting pro-Viking chants.
Altman and his roommates yelled back to the group for about 15 minutes.
After the residents went back into their house, they heard a knock at the door, which was soon followed by someone breaking it down. The residents chased the group out of the house.
Minutes later, Altman said he saw a group of about five to 10 guys charging into the house. Two of the intruders, who were wearing ski masks, punched guests in the house. That’s when residents called 911. After a brief struggle, the group eventually went outside, where the yelling continued.
When University Police arrived minutes later, the group ran away. As residents described what happened, other police officers caught the assailants and lined them up at Bierman Field, where the residents identified four of them.
The assailants were booked at Hennepin County Jail.
Despite the broken door, house resident Scott Zimmerman said they weren’t too angry.
“We all decided that as long as they buy us beer for the Packers Super Bowl party, we probably won’t press charges,” Zimmerman said.

University and Minneapolis police both reported a high number of assaults near campus over the past week:

ù Minneapolis police arrested a University employee Jan. 7 after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend near Dinkytown.
According to a police report, the man and woman had an argument while driving. The woman took the man’s keys and started to walk away from the car. After a brief chase, the man caught the woman and hit her three times in the head with a closed fist.
Minneapolis police then apprehended the man and booked him at Hennepin County Jail for fifth- degree domestic assault. No charges have been filed.
ù Officers also received calls late Sunday night about an intoxicated man sleeping under a table at the Embers restaurant on University Avenue.
According to police reports, officers found the man covered with vomit and snot.
When officers asked the man to leave, he claimed that he was deaf. One officer then wrote the request to leave on a napkin. At that point, the report said the man sat down and motioned that he was going to smoke.
Police then escorted the man to the squad car, where he blew his nose at an officer and then punched the officer in the nose.
The officer arrested him for assault and booked him at Hennepin County Jail.

ù Minneapolis police also arrested a man Sunday night after he allegedly hit his older brother repeatedly in the head at his apartment in Dinkytown.
According to a police report, the victim came running up to a police car to explain that his brother had hit him. The man was bleeding and his right eye was badly swollen. He was taken to Fairview-University Medical Center.
Officers later stopped the man’s brother, who also had a felony warrant out for a prior assault. He was arrested and booked at Hennepin County Jail.

ù With the poor weather conditions over the past week, University Police said they paid close attention to motorist behavior on campus.
One officer noticed a car driving in reverse down Washington Avenue in front of Coffman Memorial Union late Thursday.
According to a police report, the car didn’t stop until minutes after the officer turned on his lights. When questioned, the driver said he was being lazy and that he was backing up to take River Road to the dormitories.
The man was cited for careless driving.

ù University Police found a little more than they expected Thursday night when they searched the car of another careless driver.
When an officer noticed a car with its headlights turned off go through a red light, he immediately pulled it over.
After a brief search, the officer discovered two checkbooks that were reported stolen days earlier.
The driver was booked at Hennepin County Jail.

ù University Police received a call from a man Friday who said his cab driver had taken a little more than the ride was worth.
According to police reports, the man took a cab from his home to the Fairview-University hospital and wrote a check out to the driver for $8. After receiving a bank statement, the man realized that the check had been cashed for $308.
Police are searching for the cab driver.

ù Scalpers were caught Friday night outside Mariucci Arena at the University hockey game.
Officer Tim Bohn arrested two men for scalping after he caught them selling tickets at a high price.
Sgt. Joe May said the men could only be cited for scalping if they try to sell the tickets for more than they are worth.
Officer Bohn also found five bags of marijuana on one of the suspects. Both were cited for scalping and the tickets were inventoried.
— Staff Reporter Andrew Tellijohn contributed to this piece.