Police break up 400+ gathering at Superblock

Also, a group attacked a student in Dinkytown over Labor Day weekend.

by Jakob Stark

University police responded to an “out of control” gathering in the center of the Superblock early Saturday morning, according to a police report.

A group of 400 students assembled outside of the volleyball court near Frontier Hall and allegedly began throwing empty bottles. According to witnesses, the group scattered after police arrived on the scene. No injuries were reported.

After students left the area, police found broken alcohol bottles and a pine tree that was also damaged.

“We can’t condone abusive and boisterous behavior,” said University police Chief Gregory Hestness. “These students need to mature a little bit.”

Mike Whitson, a freshman who lives in Frontier Hall, said a group of about 75 to 100 students began gathering Wednesday night, a number that slowly increased until it reached its peak on Friday night. He said people joined the group because the freshman students didn’t know anyone and had nothing else to do.

“People just went with the flow,” Whitson said.

Jack Swift, a freshman Territorial Hall resident, said he did not see any illegal activity, but the group was very loud, and he was “not surprised the police were called.”

Anna Johnson, a freshman also living in Territorial Hall, said the police arrived on scene and began “threatening” to hand out alcohol citations. She said the group immediately left the area after the police arrived.

Johnson also said she did not see much unruly or illegal activity in the group.

But some witnesses reported smelling marijuana lingering from some group members.

“It reeked of weed,” said Cole McCloskey, a freshman living in Territorial Hall. “No one was hiding anything.”

McCloskey also said the area was a “disaster” the next day — empty liquor bottles and pieces of garbage were scattered everywhere.

Man attacked near Dinkytown McDonald’s

A University of Minnesota student was injured after being attacked by several suspects near the McDonald’s in Dinkytown, University police said.

A junior was allegedly attacked and knocked unconscious at the intersection of 15th Avenue Southeast and Fifth Street Southeast, according to a police report. He was transported to the hospital after police arrived at the scene.

The student was released from the hospital and is recovering in his parents’ home.

Simon Shuster, a friend of the student, said they arrived at the intersection one block north of McDonald’s when a “swarm” of four or five males came from behind them and started hitting them. He also said more men exited a vehicle that pulled up alongside them and joined in.

“There was a bit of a scuffle,” Schuster said.

Shuster also said one of the attackers used a metal baton that “looked kind of like a TV antennae” as a weapon.

After the scuffle, Shuster said he turned around and saw his friend lying on the ground, unconscious. The attackers fled the scene before police arrived.

Shuster said he did not actually see anyone strike his friend but thinks he was hit by the man with the baton.