Student attacked near superblock, U-owned truck stolen and recovered

Rocky Thompson

A University student was attacked early Saturday morning as he returned to Territorial Hall.

The attacker was described as a skinny, black male with short hair wearing a light blue fleece jacket who approached the student and demanded money, University Police Capt. Steve Johnson said.

The suspect punched the victim in the face, splitting it open on the left side.

The victim blacked out, and when he came to, Johnson said, he saw the suspect running east on Delaware Street.

Johnson said the assailant did not get any money from the student and the case is no longer an active investigation.

In other police news

A University employee in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital reported a red 1996 Ford F-150 stolen Monday.

The vehicle belonged to the teaching hospital and the original keys “float around,” the crime report said.

The truck is used to transport samples to U.S. Department of Agriculture labs and take animals off site.

The employee gave police a spare set of keys to the vehicle and said she last saw it Feb. 21 outside the animal hospital, according to the report.

But the following evening, a Veterinary Teaching Hospital staff member saw the truck in the parking lot of a local business, said Meta Gaertnier, public relations director for the College of Veterinary Medicine.

The staff member phoned the department head, who contacted University police, Gaertnier said.

University police found the vehicle and used the spare set of keys to drive it back to the animal hospital in St. Paul.

Gaertnier said the truck will get a new ignition and keys since someone has a spare set.

Johnson said police are still investigating who stole the truck.

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University Police Officer David St. Cyr cited five people last week for illegal use of handicapped permits.

A University professor who used his wife’s parking permit received one of the citations, which cost more than $700.

While St. Cyr attempted to verify another permit, a young woman approached him and said the permit was hers, according to the police report.

She told the officer the state had issued her the permit and she must have accidentally grabbed her mother’s permit by mistake.

When the officer told the woman she had never been issued a permit she laughed, according to the report.

She received a citation, and her mother will lose her handicapped parking privileges for one year.

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A granite wall next to Northrop Auditorium has a crack, and damage is estimated at $10,000.

Jim Blake, a facilities support supervisor, reported the damage Monday, the police report said.

The wall had a blue paint mark on it, and the officer speculated in the police report that a large vehicle had backed into the wall, possibly during the outdoor Chili Feed that took place the same day.

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Auditoriums five and 10 in Blegen Hall were vandalized on Saturday.

“Apparently during the day there were some complaints of kids in the building,” Johnson said.

Vandals knocked over a bookshelf and smashed chalk, smearing it on chairs and the floor. One of them wrote an obscene comment on the chalkboard.

“Obviously it was just malicious vandalism,” Johnson said.

Rocky Thompson covers police and crime and welcomes comments at [email protected]