Janitor sweeps burglar out of East Bank

Also, two campus-area robberies prompted two crime alerts.

Nick Wicker

A University of Minnesota custodian found himself in a fight-or-flight situation during an early morning shift Saturday.

Michael Revier, a 58-year-old building and grounds worker, said he encountered a student who had broken through a window between Rapson Hall and the Mechanical Engineering building.

It was about 12:50 a.m. when he found himself face to face with the intruder, according to a police report.

University police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said that’s when the student became aggressive and lunged at Revier, who then defended himself.

“I was trying to make myself as big and as loud as I could,” Revier said. “They tell you to do that with bears.”

Revier said he used a handheld dustpan to drive away the intoxicated young man.

“I called 911 and yelled at him to get out of the building, [and I] followed him out into the street where the police were waiting for him,” Revier said.

The student burglar was treated for “puncture wounds” at the Hennepin County Medical Center, the police report said.

Revier said he thinks the injury could have happened when the man climbed through the broken glass window.

The student was booked at Hennepin County Jail for burglary of business, damage to property, attempt to cause bodily harm and minor consumption, the report said.

U police issue two crime alerts

Over the past week, the University community received emailed crime alerts from UMPD Chief Greg Hestness about two separate robbery incidents.

Miner said the two crimes are most likely unrelated, as each had a different number of suspects.

The first alert detailed a Thursday afternoon incident in which a suspect attacked a University student. At the time of the incident, the student was making his way through his apartment’s parking lot near the intersection of Fulton Street Southeast and Huron Boulevard Southeast.

The suspect grabbed the student from behind, shook him and attempted to throw him to the ground, the alert said.

After breaking free, the victim refused to hand over his valuables and ran away. He escaped unharmed and didn’t lose any of his valuables before calling the police, the alert said.

According to the crime alert, Minneapolis police will investigate the crime, as it occurred off campus.

Then, an incident that occurred just before 2 a.m. Saturday prompted another emailed crime alert.

Jorge Gonzalez, a physical education and Spanish junior at Century College, said he and his friend were waiting for the Green Line light rail near its East Bank station when they were robbed.

Gonzalez said he and his friend had to wait about an hour for the train, so his friend started playing music on his phone.

Two women approached them, Gonzalez said, and one took the phone and hid it in her shirt. He said when his friend asked for the phone back, the women refused and walked away, threatening to yell “rape.”

Gonzalez said he kept his distance as he and his friend followed the pair of women, until a sizeable group of men appeared “out of nowhere” and circled his friend.

According to the crime alert, University police apprehended six of the group of between 10 and 12 individuals.

Gonzalez said he wove his way into the ring of strangers to retrieve his friend when one of the individuals hit him in the back of the head, forcing him to his knees before he fought back. The group continued to attack him, he said.

“As soon as I know it, their whole group just starts beating me,” Gonzalez said. “I’m on the ground, taking kicks to the face, getting hit.”

The group chased his friend to the light rail station, he said, but first robbed Gonzalez of his phone and his wallet.

The friend tried to hit an emergency button on the platform, Gonzalez said, but he was unsure whether it had worked.

Miner said officers arrived on scene, detained the six individuals and brought them to UMPD’s Transportation and Safety building for questioning.

One of the individuals was booked for third-degree assault, Miner said. Gonzalez’s wallet was returned, but some money was missing, and the friend’s phone was not recovered, Miner said.