U student attacked, robbed in Dinkytown

Also, someone burglarized an Iowa Hawkeye fan’s car.

by Kaitlin Walker

A Halloween-night robbery left a University of Minnesota student bruised and without his wallet.

University senior Chris Bomba was attacked Monday night by a group of men who repeatedly punched and kicked him before stealing his wallet and running off.

According to a police report, Bomba was walking to Espresso Royale Café in Dinkytown around 10:30 p.m. A group of four men approached him at the intersection of 13th Avenue Southeast and Seventh Street Southeast where one of them asked Bomba to use his cellphone.

Bomba complied, but he said the men told him that they didnâÄôt want the phone when they saw it wasnâÄôt a smartphone.

When Bomba tried to walk away, one of the suspects grabbed him by the shoulders while another âÄúsucker punchedâÄù him in the head, according to the report.

âÄúThey were all around me, kicking me,âÄù Bomba said. âÄúThen they took my wallet and ran off.âÄù

The group spent about $50 before Bomba cancelled his debit card, hitting up a McDonaldâÄôs on the way to Nicollet Mall.

The men did not take all of the walletâÄôs contents, however. Bomba found his driverâÄôs license and U Card in the grass on his way home from school Tuesday âÄî the day after the incident.

Bomba said he felt like the group wasnâÄôt looking for his money or phone, especially because they didnâÄôt demand either before they attacked him.

âÄúIâÄôm a small guy. IâÄôm not intimidating,âÄù Bomba said. âÄúThey could have just threatened me, and I would have given up anything they wanted. But the fact that they assaulted me, it seemed like there was some anger there. It seemed like there may have been more to it.âÄù

Erich Berg, a sophomore at the University, biked past the group as they approached Bomba.

âÄúIt felt wrong,âÄù Berg said.

When he looked back, Berg saw the group attack Bomba and turned around to help.

âÄúI wish I had stopped and confronted it when it felt off,âÄù Berg said.

Berg said the crime reports sent out by University police didnâÄôt connect with him before, but after this âÄúterrifyingâÄù incident, they do.

âÄúItâÄôs definitely going to shape the way I spend my time off campus at later hours in the evening,âÄù Berg said.

Bomba said the incident wonâÄôt stop him from going out, although he said heâÄôll be more attentive to his surroundings and how he interacts with people on the street.

âÄúI donâÄôt like to live in paranoia.âÄù Bomba said.

Insult to injury

Most University of Iowa fans felt the loss against the Gophers on Saturday, but one lost much more than the game.

Robert Biggin, of Dubuque, Iowa, said he parked his âÄúbrand newâÄù 2011 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck after the game Saturday in the farthest corner of the Days Inn Hotel parking lot. Biggin was trying to prevent someone damaging the truck by parking too close.

But on Sunday morning Biggin walked out to find his truck propped on concrete landscaping blocks, the wheels and rims gone and the driverâÄôs side window smashed in. His iPod and GPS were also missing.

âÄúI was upset, but I tried not to get mad because I knew that wouldnâÄôt help anything,âÄù Biggin said.

Biggin contacted the dealership that sold him the vehicle. The dealership sent out a truck and four replacement wheels to tow the Silverado home.

Biggin was wary of driving the truck in case the brakes had been tampered with or damaged.

âÄúI didnâÄôt want to drive 300 miles on a vehicle that I wasnâÄôt 100 percent sure about,âÄù Biggin said.

Despite the ordeal, Biggin got a dose of Minnesota nice on Sunday âÄî the hotel let him stay an extra night free of charge and many patrons stopped to ask if he needed help.

âÄúA lot of people were willing make sure I was okay and see if I needed anything, so that makes a person feels good,âÄù Biggin said.

The hotel parking lot doesnâÄôt have a security camera, but the adjacent lots owned by the University do, and Biggin said he hopes the footage will help police in their investigation.