Dinkytown attack sends two to hospital

Also, a repeat offender was cited with trespassing at the University recreation center.

Nick Wicker

The University of Minnesota campus will see an increase in police presence this weekend with Halloween falling on a Friday and thousands of protesters expected to turn out Sunday when the Washington Redskins play the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium.

Minneapolis police Public Information Officer John Elder said his department will increase the number of police on the streets in strategic areas near the University of Minnesota.

“We will have more officers on than usual, as there is a high number of pedestrians, bicyclists and other persons out,” Elder said.

He said police are “aware” of Sunday’s protests over the use of the Washington team’s name, but he declined to comment on the department’s strategy for responding to the planned demonstrations.

Dinkytown attack sends man and woman to hospital

A University student working at Publika in Dinkytown watched an altercation outside the coffee shop turn violent as she closed up business at about 11 p.m. Thursday.

Alexandra Pfeifer, a speech therapy junior, said that’s when she witnessed a man assault two people — a woman and man.

She said the confrontation started when the suspect tried to take back money he had either pretended to give or actually given the woman.

When the woman didn’t hand over cash to him, Pfeifer said the assailant punched her repeatedly in the face, splitting her lip.

The second victim tried to stop the assault but instead drew the attacker’s attention, Pfeifer said. She said the suspect shoved the man backward, causing him to hit his head on a nearby pole.

The suspect then retreated back to a taxicab that had been waiting for him during the entire incident, Pfeifer said. She said she then gave the female victim water for her lip and called the police.

Elder said while no arrests have been made in the case, it is under ongoing investigation. According to a police report, both victims were transported to the Hennepin County Medical Center.

Man cited with terroristic threats at recreation center

A 33-year-old man threatened to shoot an Office of Information Technology employee on the afternoon of Oct. 20 at the University recreation center, a police report said.

This wasn’t the first time this man, who is not affiliated with the University, had caused trouble at the rec center, said Adegoriola Alowonle, the victim of the suspect’s most recent threats.

Alowonle said he witnessed the same individual a week earlier push and shove someone on one of the building’s basketball courts. During that incident, Alowonle said the man threatened to “bring his boys” and “shoot people.”

Alowonle said he noticed the man again on Oct. 20 when the suspect yelled at another gym-goer for coughing near him as he worked out. Alowonle said he thought the behavior was odd but brushed it off.

The man’s temper resurfaced 10 minutes later, Alowonle said, so he approached the man and told him to calm down and stop threatening people.

“He said he was going to shoot me,” he said, “I was trying to talk some sense into him.”

That was when Alowonle said he told a gym employee to call 911. With the police on their way, the man bragged to Alowonle about his long rap sheet and reputation for graffiti.

“This guy is an idiot and a threat to students, staff, everyone on campus,” Alowonle said. “He’s like a bomb waiting to go off, the way he was pushing and shoving and threatening people.”

According to the police report, the suspect already had a trespass warning at the time of the incident and was cited again last week for trespassing as well as for terroristic threats.