Students charged with hockey riot vandalism

Amy Hackbarth

Seven University students were charged with felonies and two with misdemeanors last week for damaging Dinkytown property after the Gophers’ April national hockey championship win.

The Minneapolis city attorney’s office filed the misdemeanor charges last week, and three more charges are pending, said assistant city attorney Raymond Cantu.

The University Police Department also posted the pictures of nine other people it wants to identify on the department’s Web site.

According to the Web site, police aim only to question the individuals whose pictures were posted. But Officer Troy Buhta said the department will recommend charges against those individuals once they are identified.

“This is a way to show that the University and the University Police Department take this stuff seriously,” Buhta said.

The department gleaned the photos from videos recorded by amateur and security cameras during the night of April 6 and the morning of April 7, said University Police Capt. Steve Johnson.

Decisions on the three pending charges will be made sometime next week, Cantu said. While he expects all three students to be charged, Cantu said, the severity of the charges will depend on the amount of damage each student caused.

Actions causing a maximum of $250 in damage constitute a misdemeanor, and damage between $250 and $500 is defined as a gross misdemeanor. Damage of more than $500, Cantu said, is grounds for a felony charge.

If convicted, the students charged with misdemeanors could face a $700 fine or up to 90 days in prison. Any students convicted of felonies could face $1,000 in fines or more than a year in prison.

The first cases will be heard in court next week, Cantu said.

Last week’s charges, filed in Hennepin County District Court, come three months after three University students and a Minneapolis man were charged for their involvement in the melee.

“We will investigate crimes that happened on campus if we can,” Johnson said. “And the events that happened that night were criminal.”