Assault victim recovering at home

First-year student Sam, whose parents asked his full name to be withheld for safety reasons, is resting at home after an Oct. 15 attack on University Avenue left him blind in one eye. âÄúFirst, I just want to know why,âÄù he said. But a lot of things were left unanswered for Sam when a trip to Mesa Pizza turned into that assault. After a sober lock-in at his fraternity, Sam and his friends went out for a late night slice at Mesa Pizza in Dinkytown. On the way Sam noticed a group of people standing on the sidewalk of University, which he took no notice of at first. Then one person from the crowd âÄútook a two-step running startâÄù at him and âÄúpunched him from behindâÄù knocking him out, he said. Sam said his friends told him that after that punch, he stumbled for 10 seconds and fell face first onto the pavement of University Avenue. Another assailant, pretending to help him up, kicked him and then ran away. A group of students helped him into their fraternity house and took care of him until police came. Sam said he wasnâÄôt very concerned at first and the Minneapolis police chalked it up as a campus scuffle. That night he went back to his residence hall to sleep, thinking his vision would get better, but the next morning, he said he was alarmed that he still couldnâÄôt see out of his right eye. After visits to the hospital, Sam is getting his health back at home and said he plans on returning to school after Thanksgiving. He said once he does come back things will be different. He will have difficulty driving from now on, and the sports he loved will be harder to enjoy. âÄúYeah, I grew up playing basketball my whole life,âÄù he said. âÄúIâÄôll play a lot closer to the hoop âÄî go for layups and drives instead of shooting jumpers.âÄù Penalty Box for student drinker Patrick Newkirk had enough. After four years and two months of cleaning up empty bottles and chew spit containers scattered throughout stadium seating, he called the police on student drinkers in the stands at Mariucci Arena . Basically at every club hockey game, students bring alcohol, against arena rules, and drink while they watch the game, Newkirk said. While Newkirk said fans never got out of hand, he was sick and tired of picking up the mess and decided to call in a group he saw drinking Saturday. Stephen Davis , a communications junior, was part of that group. Davis, 21, a recent transfer student, went to his first game at Mariucci on Saturday and had no idea he couldnâÄôt drink, he said. When he was offered a beer by some strangers he said, âÄúWell IâÄôm 21, why canâÄôt I have a beer?âÄù But when the University of Minnesota police arrived and the beer providers split , Davis was charged with consuming in public, according to a police report. Newkirk said drinking is allowed in Mariucci Arena, but only in the box seating âÄî not in the main seating area and definitely not during club hockey. Davis said he is filing a complaint form about the officers who arrested him, saying they were confusing and that the drinks werenâÄôt his. Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said while student drinking on campus happens often, he has never heard of students drinking during intramurals. But Newkirk knows otherwise. âÄúIt has and it happens quite frequently and this was the first time that we decided to do anything about it,âÄù he said. Illegal disability parking a problem at U Due to the discovery of numerous University students, staff and visitors using handicap permits illegally, police often verify them for their usage. This weekendsâÄô verifications caught at least five people, including a psychiatrist using his wifeâÄôs permit while he attended appointments and a student using his roommateâÄôs grandfatherâÄôs permit, according to police reports. The University only has 88 handicap parking spots, Parking and Transportation spokeswoman Mary Sienko said. Their limited number makes the spots a valuable commodity, Miner said. He stressed the importance of the limited handicap parking on campus and said this problem exists because people try to find ways to avoid feeding meters. The courts donâÄôt take illegal handicap parking lightly, Miner said. The fine is $200 for parking in a handicap spot without a permit and $500 for parking with an illegal permit. On top of the fine, all student offenders are sent to the Office for Student Conduct , which could give students other sanctions on top of court fines, Miner said. The Office for Student Conduct handles these case by case. Many times the students are rushing to get to an exam, and occasionally fees can be turned into community service hours, Amy Barsness, assistant director for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity , said. -Kale Eickhof contributed to this report