Drunken driver crashes into B. Loco

Also, an arrest was made in connection to a Thursday morning armed robbery of a student.

A car rests in a yard early Sunday, March 3, 2013, on the 400s block of Thirteenth Ave. SE. The vehicle damaged several street signs and Burrito Locos patio fence.

Chelsea Gortmaker

A car rests in a yard early Sunday, March 3, 2013, on the 400s block of Thirteenth Ave. SE. The vehicle damaged several street signs and Burrito Locos’ patio fence.

by Alexi Gusso


A St. Paul man was charged with drunken driving Saturday night after he crashed his car into the fence surrounding Burrito Loco in Dinkytown.

University of Minnesota police cited a 23-year-old man for fourth-degree DWI after he drove his SUV onto the sidewalk along 13th Avenue Southeast, crashed into the fence and then struck the front porch of a nearby house, according to a University police report.

Damages to the wrought iron fence were estimated between $8,000 and $10,000, according to the report. The man could face property damage charges.

Police found the man with a large amount of blood on his face from a cut above his eye, but no one else was hurt.

University police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said that the man is not a University of Minnesota student and had not been at Burrito Loco prior to the incident.

Police discovered three bags — totaling 17 grams — of what they suspected was marijuana in the console of the man’s car, Miner said.  

According to the report, the man tried to flee the scene but was restrained by a Burrito Loco security guard. The man tried to fight off the guard before an officer arrived.

When an officer attempted to search the man for weapons, he tried to run south toward Fourth Street but was quickly caught and handcuffed.

Miner said that the man had watery eyes, smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and struggled to maintain his balance. An officer could not give him a field sobriety due to the risk of him fleeing again. The officer could also not administer a breathalyzer test because the man kept spitting blood and saliva.

Economics senior Taylor Frank was walking with his friends to the Library Bar when he turned around and saw the vehicle driving on the sidewalk.

“I’m not sure what made me turn around,” Frank said. “I think it was the car squealing, but I turned around, and the Jeep was up on the intersection on the sidewalk coming right at me.”

Frank said he pulled his friend into the middle of the street to avoid being hit. The vehicle was about 15 feet from them when it came to a stop, he said.

Frank said the following scene was chaotic, with people screaming at the driver after he got out of his car.

“It was an unfortunate deal. The kid who got out of the car was clearly extremely intoxicated, but I’m just glad he didn’t hurt anyone,” Frank said.

Accounting and finance senior John Brennan was at the Library and walked outside to see what happened.

Brennan said that the fence was torn down and that “it looked like he’d been driving on the sidewalk for a while.”

The man was held in the back of a squad car until emergency medical services arrived and transported him to the University of Minnesota Medical Center, where he got stitches above his eye. The hospital staff also conducted a blood test. The results have not been disclosed.

He was released from custody around 5 p.m. on Sunday and has a court date set for April 15.

U student robbed, suspect arrested

A University student was robbed at gunpoint Thursday morning near the Eighth Street Market, according to a Minneapolis police report.

The victim, 21, was waiting at the bus stop in front of the store just after 8 a.m. when an unknown man approached him with a handgun and demanded his valuables, the report said.

He gave up his wallet and laptop, and the suspect fled with the items.

Police arrested the suspect Friday on suspicion of aggravated robbery, the report said. The victim identified the man in a lineup following the arrest.

“This individual was apparently involved in some other robberies in a neighboring city,” Minneapolis police Sgt. Steve McCarty said. “That’s how the police were able to get his name.”

Two people assaulted near campus last week

Two assaults, one involving two University students, occurred last week near campus, according to police reports.

The first assault took place around 11:45 p.m. on Wednesday inside the University Village apartment building following an argument between two male students, according to a University police report.

The students, who are roommates, were arguing about hockey tickets when the argument intensified and one punched the other in the face three times, Miner said.

University police were called to the scene shortly after the fight and found the victim, 20, holding his nose, Miner said. Paramedics arrived and took him to UMMC for treatment of a possible broken nose.

The officer arrested the victim’s roommate on suspicion of fifth-degree assault and booked him at the Hennepin County Jail, the report said.

The second assault occurred just after midnight Thursday when a man, who is not affiliated with the University, was attacked outside Stadium View apartments, a Minneapolis police report said.

The victim, 21, was punched in the face and knocked to the ground by another man, the report said. The man then kicked the victim in the back multiple times before fleeing the scene.

When police arrived, they found the victim complaining of back pain, the report said. Paramedics transported him to Hennepin County Medical Center for treatment.

Police discovered that the suspect is banned from the building for previous incidents, the report said. Building security guards gave the officers a photo of the suspect, but they did not know the correct spelling of his name.

Minneapolis police are investigating the assault but have not arrested anyone, McCarty said.