Student seeks mouth-socking assailant

Sarah McKenzie

Aaron Cruthers, a third-year dental student, has spent the past few days posting fliers around campus and speaking with students about an assault that landed him in the emergency room early Saturday morning.
He said he even plans to dish out $1,000 in cash to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest of the assailant, who Cruthers claims punched him in the face after he “politely” asked him to leave his property.
Cruthers, who lives at a dental fraternity house on Essex Street Southeast with 11 other students, said he walked outside his home late Friday night to confront the man and the encounter quickly escalated.
The man, described as being in his late teens, allegedly threatened Cruthers with a beer bottle, but the dental student grabbed it out of his hand. After that, Cruthers said the man socked him in the face.
“I don’t remember exactly how it happened,” Cruthers said, who received 17 stitches in and outside of his mouth. “He just blew up.”
Cruthers also claims the man mocked the professional dental fraternity before punches were thrown. The dental student said he suspects the assailant lives in a residence hall near his house. He has delivered more than 150 fliers to halls and other fraternities on campus.
He said he decided to take matters into his own hands because he figured police would categorize the assault as “just another campus beer brawl.”
“It was such an unwarranted, unprovoked attack,” Cruthers said.
Minneapolis police have classified the attack as a fifth-degree assault and battery, but have made no arrests.
Police do not typically investigate fifth-degree assaults.
Cruthers said he hopes the reward encourages someone to come forward with information about the man who assaulted him.
“It’s amazing the reception I have received,” he said.

In other police news:
ù Vandals slopped a mixture of shoe polish and sulfuric acid on at least three Dinkytown businesses over the weekend.
Minneapolis Police Officer Robert Patrick, Sr., said he found the graffiti on the windows of Fowl Play, Varsity Theater and the building that formerly housed Gray’s Campus Drug. The bar and the drugstore were previously closed
Patrick, who has tried to tackle the graffiti problem in Dinkytown since the opening of the police substation next to the Varsity Theater, said the substance burned his knuckles as he tried unsuccessfully to remove the residue from the windows.
The windows will have to be replaced and he estimates the damage bill will total $7,000.
“It looks like the graffiti is etched in the glass,” said Peter Bischoff, an employee who works at a photography studio inside of Varsity Theater.
The words inscribed on the theater windows read: “Every Thing Fail Apart” and “Expel.”
Bischoff said the studio has not yet determined how they will pay for the damaged windows. He suspects the studio’s insurance might cover the vandalism. The city of Minneapolis will pay to paint over graffiti on walls of buildings.
Patrick said he is conducting an investigation into the vandalism. If caught, he said the vandals could face felony charges.