Firebomb strikes West Bank building

Robert Koch

Two unidentified suspects allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail at a West Bank apartment building on May 11, leaving a scorch mark on the building and broken glass on the ground.
The alleged firebombing occurred at 512 Cedar Ave. S. shortly after 2 a.m. The perpetrators drove a gray and silver four-door car, according to the police report.
Minneapolis police photographed the scene and collected the broken glass.
Paula Underwood, the tenant who reported the incident the following afternoon, could not be reached for comment.
But she gave the building’s head of maintenance a handwritten account, saying in part, “They threw a firebomb in my window,” said Sheryl Nelson, property manager for the Cedar Riverside Land Co. that owns the building.
However, there are discrepancies among the various accounts.
Nelson, who regularly reviews summary police reports for the building’s address, said her version makes no mention of the damage. Accounts given by building employees confirm this, she said.
Neither the building caretaker, who passed by the area at 5 a.m., nor the head of maintenance, who inspected the scene at 9 a.m., found a broken window or debris, Nelson added.
Nelson said she hopes to obtain the police photographs of the damage to clear up the accounts.
Investigators from the Minneapolis Police Department’s bomb squad are investigating the matter.
Sgt. Scott Larson could not comment on the details but added his department does have suspects.
Larson said firebombs are classified as incendiary devices.
“They get reported as incendiary devices to the FBI Bomb Data Center,” Larson said. “To manufacture, possess or use an incendiary device is a felony.”
Persons convicted of using incendiary devices risk up to 10 years imprisonment, a $20,000 fine or both, he added.
Tenants of the apartments share the brick building facing Cedar Avenue with Palmer’s Bar, Tawakal Halal Food and the West Bank Karate Club.
In other police news:
ù A purse snatcher stole a black leather clutch purse valued at $100 from Judy Yudof, wife of University President Mark Yudof.
The theft occurred at 10:15 a.m. at the Phillips Wangensteen Building at 516 Delaware St. S.E.
Lost with the purse was a driver’s license, two credit cards and $30 in cash, according to the University police report.
Judy could not be reached for comment.
University Police classified the incident as a theft-from-person but refused to give details, adding the matter is under investigation.
“A theft-from-person is taking it from the person without using force,” said Officer J. Hokanson of the Minneapolis Police Department. “A pickpocket and purse snatcher are the common examples.”
ù University Police arrested two University students for trespassing and underage consumption Saturday night after they allegedly entered Walter Library.
The library is currently closed for reconstruction.
The students crawled beneath a construction fence, then climbed scaffolding to gain entrance to the building.

Robert Koch covers police and courts and welcomes comments at [email protected]