Man assaulted, robbed outside University Village

Also, a brawl broke out after bar close in Dinkytown on Saturday.

by Nicholas Studenski

Minneapolis Institute of Arts student Zechariah Jones was waiting for the bus outside University Village apartments Saturday morning when two men robbed and assaulted him, according to a Minneapolis police report.

Jones said the two men approached him and asked for the time. When Jones tried to respond, he said, one of the suspects showed him a gun and said, “We know what time it is; it’s time for you to give us all your stuff.”

One of the men then punched Jones in the face, he said, and the men took his wallet, phone and backpack.

Jones said he typically feels safe in the area, and he was surprised to be the victim of a crime during the day.

“I didn’t expect it,” he said.

Jones said he doesn’t think he’ll get his things back, but he’s glad he didn’t sustain any severe injuries.

In response to the incident, University police Chief Greg Hestness sent an email crime alert to the University of Minnesota community Monday afternoon — the 13th alert of fall semester.

In accordance with federal law, the University sends email alerts for all crimes on and around campus that may pose a threat to the University community.

University police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said this incident is uncommon because it happened in a well-populated area during the day.

“This one is more difficult to prevent,” he said.

Miner advised students to use the University security escort service if they feel unsafe. Police have also advised students to give up their valuables in armed robberies to avoid getting hurt and to contact police as soon as possible to increase the chances of catching the suspect.

Brawl outside Blarney

Just after bar close Saturday, a brawl broke out on 14th Avenue Southeast, according to a Minneapolis police report.

Jonathan King, 22, said he was with a large group of friends outside Blarney Pub and Grill waiting for another friend early Saturday morning. Though King is not a student, he said he and his friends were planning to return to a student’s house near campus.

King said he’s not sure how the fight started; he saw a man hit one of his friends. He then saw his friend get hit by another man after she stepped into the street. King said someone then hit him in the face as he went to help his friend.

King said he isn’t sure whether he was hit by a bare fist or brass knuckles, but the punch left two gauges in his head and broke his glasses. King said he tried to run away but was only able to “wobble.” He curled up on the ground, he said, but the man continued to kick him.

Police arrested one man near the scene shortly after the brawl, the report said. However, King said he and his friends were attacked by a group.

King said the incident has changed the way he feels on campus.

“I’m never going back down there again,” King said. “I almost died — screw that.”

Attempted kidnapping near stadium

A University student was the victim of an attempted kidnapping near TCF Bank Stadium early Wednesday morning, according to a Minneapolis police report.

Taylor Denlinger, 18, said she was walking from the bus stop near the intersection of University Avenue Southeast and Oak Street Southeast when two men in a car pulled up alongside her and asked if she needed help.

Denlinger said she ignored the men, but one of them got out of the car, grabbed her arm and tried to force her inside.

Denlinger said she tried to defend herself with pepper spray, but the man pushed her to the ground and used the pepper spray against her. She screamed, and the men drove away.

Hestness sent an email crime alert about the incident to the University community Wednesday evening.