Two U students assaulted

Kevin Behr

A visit to a friend’s house early Sunday turned into a bloody trip to the hospital for two University students.

A group of five or six men attacked the students about 2:15 a.m. Sunday on the 1000 block of 12th Avenue Southeast in the Southeast Como neighborhood, witnesses said.

University senior Michael Murphy was first punched in the face and then beaten with what looked like a board, said witness and friend Sara Jensen.

Murphy underwent reconstructive surgery on the left side of his face after he suffered three skull fractures, she said.

Gary Antilla, a sociology and law and criminal deviance junior, said he too suffered a fractured skull and received stitches on his head and hands. He also had abrasions on his arms.

Police do not have any suspects or strong leads, but investigators are looking into the case, said Minneapolis Police spokesman Lt. Greg Reinhardt.

Attacked

A solitary man stood outside a house on 12th Avenue Southeast smoking a cigarette early Sunday. When Murphy walked by, the man punched him in the face for “no reason,” Jensen said.

According to Antilla, the man “went back inside the house and got five friends.”

The group ran up behind Murphy and one struck him across the face with a weapon, Jensen said. She said the weapon might have been a board.

Murphy fell to the ground and the group continued to attack him, Jensen said.

“I begged them to stop,” she said.

Jensen said the man threatened to hurt her as well, so she ran inside to call police.

Meanwhile, one man asked Antilla if he had ever been shot before, he said. Antilla said he didn’t respond.

“I raised my hands like I didn’t know anything,” he said, “and he punched me in the face.”

Antilla fell to the ground and was hit in the back of the head “at least once,” he said.

Police arrive

Before police arrived, Jensen said she returned to her fallen friend, Murphy.

“I tried to stop the bleeding,” she said. “I was covered head to toe in blood.”

When police arrived, Jensen said, she told them which house she thought the group of attackers ran to after the attack.

“The cops didn’t take it very seriously,” she said. “They acted like it was just another college fight.”

Police could not do very much with the information Jensen gave because preliminary descriptions of the suspects were not very good, Reinhardt said.

“There’s also a thing called the Constitution,” he said. “You can’t just bust doors in.”

An investigator has been assigned to the case, Reinhardt said. He encouraged anyone with information about the case to contact the Minneapolis police tip line at (612) 692-8477.