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The Minnesota Daily

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Theater camp instructor assaulted outside Rarig Center

Also, a burglar left a University student’s apartment after realizing she was home.

A man assaulted a children’s theater camp instructor outside the University of Minnesota’s Rarig Center on Friday.

Eric Severson said a man was playing music near some campers Friday afternoon. He told the children to walk away from the man if they felt uncomfortable.

Severson introduced himself to the man, planning to ask him to leave. But the man started punching Severson’s arm and shouting profanities at him.

“I was more concerned because the kids were seeing this,” he said. The man left after Severson threatened to call police.

He said the man punched him more than a dozen times. In his 12 years teaching the camp, Severson said nothing like this has ever happened before.

“I don’t think anyone was hugely traumatized,” he said, “but many of [the children] were a little shaken up.”

Severson said he saw the man posting flyers around the building earlier in the week wearing a top hat and a studded collar.

Based on Severson’s description, University police have a good idea of who the suspect is, said Deputy Chief Chuck Miner. They’re still investigating, and Severson said he hasn’t seen the man since.

“I think it’s unfortunate that it happened,” Severson said. “We’ve had nothing but wonderful experiences at the U.”


Close call with burglar

A burglar left a University student’s apartment early Friday morning without taking anything after the student made noise.

Environmental sciences senior Emma Radtke said she woke up to a noise in the kitchen of her Fifth Avenue Southeast apartment but figured it was one of her roommates getting something to eat.

“It was kind of weird that someone was up, but I just figured that’s what it was,” she said.

When the door to her bedroom opened, she thought it was her roommate, so Radtke said her name. The suspect closed the door and Radtke went back to sleep.

Later that morning, her roommate found the back door — which Radtke said they never use — and the kitchen window screen open.

The window is small, Radtke said, and roughly 6 feet off the ground. She said she thinks the suspect used a chair from the porch to boost themselves up and climb in and then walked out the back door after realizing she was home.

“You wouldn’t think anyone would go to that length to break in,” Radtke said.


Robbery on University Avenue

Two men robbed Diego Ruiz and his boyfriend on University Avenue Southeast late Saturday night.

The men came up from behind Ruiz and said they had a gun, he said. They wanted the victims’ cellphones.

“Fortunately for us, we were right in front of our building,” Ruiz said. He and his boyfriend dashed inside, but the thieves stole Ruiz’s bag before running away.

Ruiz said nothing valuable was in the bag — just some gym clothes and a cheap MP3 player.

Police have recorded four other robberies in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood this year, according to Minneapolis data. Ruiz said he’s lived in the apartment since September and was “definitely surprised” to see a robbery happen in his neighborhood.


Citizen arrests would-be motorcycle thief

Mechanical engineering doctoral candidate Muhammad Ramdan arrested a man trying to steal his motorcycle early Saturday morning.

Ramdan left his 27th Avenue Southeast apartment and saw the suspect sitting on his bike, which had its cover off. He said the man got off the bike and walked toward him casually.

“He even said, ‘What’s up?’ to me,” Ramdan said.

Police found the suspect shortly after Ramdan called them, and brought him back to Ramdan for identification. Because police can’t arrest a suspect when they didn’t witness the crime, Ramdan placed him under citizen’s arrest.

“I was so lucky to catch him,” he said.


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