University students warned for alleged sexual activity at Bell Museum

Also, a University student helped police catch vandals on Sunday.

University students warned for alleged sexual activity at Bell Museum

Kia Farhang

Two University of Minnesota students were warned for trespassing after being caught without their clothes on in a darkened auditorium of the Bell Museum of Natural History early last week.

A children’s science camp leader found the students “engaged in sexual activity,” according to a University police report.

The students quickly dressed and left the building, but they returned about 15 minutes later to retrieve a phone and watch they’d left behind.

Police issued the students warnings, so they can be cited or arrested for trespassing if they return to the museum within a certain period of time. University police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said most trespass warnings last for one year but couldn’t say the specifics for these students.

He said the police could only issue warnings because nobody saw the students in the act.

Around 4 p.m., the camp leader found underwear and a condom wrapper on the floor of the museum, according to the police report.

She told the students to leave while another camp leader distracted the children.

Police came to the museum to take a report and inventory the phone and watch. They spoke with the students, who had then returned to collect their belongings.

The report said both students appeared nervous. The man, 21, told police he and his girlfriend were “exploring the University.” The woman, 18, said she was unaware children were in the building.

The camp leader and one of the students involved declined to comment for this story. The other student couldn’t be reached.

Miner said reports like this are fairly rare, especially in the middle of the day.

Student helps police catch vandals

On Sunday morning, a University student found three men inside a vacant house on 15th Avenue Southeast, breaking windows and kicking walls.

Political science senior Stephen Meyer said he was walking home with friends when he heard glass breaking. He walked onto the porch and first thought the men inside were fighting.

“There was glass everywhere,” he said. “A landlord would be very pissed if they saw this.”

Meyer called police and trailed the suspects for about a block until police arrived and arrested them for burglary, according to a Minneapolis police report. He said the men were “most definitely” intoxicated.

“It was probably just three guys who were drunk [and] didn’t really realize the consequences of their actions,” Meyer said.

Minneapolis police Sgt. Bill Palmer said police don’t know for sure if the men were intoxicated.

Palmer said it’s up to the Hennepin County Attorney to decide whether to also charge them with vandalism or destruction of property.