U employee assaulted on campus

The victim fought his assailant on the West Bank to avoid a robbery.

Kaitlin Walker

 

A University of Minnesota employee avoided an attempted robbery by warding off an assault while leaving his West Bank office building Thursday afternoon.

According to the police report, the employee was walking near the Regis Center for Art-West  around 4 p.m. when a man approached, yelled and punched him.

The victim fought back and knocked his attacker to the ground before running to nearby Hanson Hall to call police.

The victim was not injured and none of his belongings were taken, police said.

The particulars of this case are unusual, admitted University police Lt. Troy Buhta.

âÄúThe chances of this happening again are slim to none,âÄù Buhta said of the robbery attempted in broad daylight. âÄúBut these things do happen.âÄù

The victim described his attacker as a white male in his mid-to-late 20s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and around 200 pounds. He had short, crew-cut hair, thick eyebrows, and a tattoo on the inside of his left arm, the victim told police.

As of Monday, there were no leads in the case, Buhta said.

Though the suspect was not armed, University police urged people not to resist an attacker with a weapon in the crime alert sent to University students Friday.

When physically assaulted, Buhta suggested resisting the attacker as long as possible and screaming for help.

âÄúGet more witnesses,âÄù Buhta said. âÄúDo anything to draw attention.âÄù

When more people witness a crime, the police have more information to work with, Buhta said.

University police also suggest putting away the cell phone.

âÄú[Attackers] think youâÄôre distracted,âÄù Buhta said. âÄúIt would probably make them act on it more. They think they can sneak up on you.âÄù

Victims were on their cell phone in at least two of the robberies that have happened in the area this year, according to University police.

Buhta said the best thing a person can do when being followed is call the police to give a location and a description of the suspect.

Above all else, police urge people to be aware of their surroundings.

âÄúWe like to think that campus is as safe as can be,âÄù Buhta said. âÄúBut things happen. You have to be aware of your

surroundings.âÄù