Police chase down fans in Dinkytown

Officers cleared the Dinkytown streets of disappointed hockey fans after the 7-4 loss to Union.

Facing another night of raucous Gophers hockey fans, Minneapolis police turned out in force to clear the streets of Dinkytown after the NCAA title game Saturday night, making 19 arrests and firing paint pellets at a sometimes unruly crowd.

After the Gophers lost 7-4 to Union College, dozens of disappointed fans tried to take over the intersection of 4th Street and 14th Avenue SE., the scene of a rowdy celebration Thursday.

Police, on horses, on bikes and in riot gear, pushed scores of people down 14th Avenue in an attempt to empty the streets, pushing the students elsewhere.

One man who mooned officers was knocked to the ground, handcuffed and taken away. Two known incidents of arson were reported, along with an unknown amount of property damage, police said. No one from law enforcement was injured.

As Dinkytown began to calm down late Saturday, police were dealing with people in the surrounding neighborhoods. But shortly after midnight, authorities were beginning to leave the area and traffic was starting to move again.

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau said her officers were ordering people to disperse. “Technically, everyone here could be arrested,” she said.

But Tommy Dahl, one of the many on the street after the game, took issue. “I’m exercising my rights. I can stand here and watch this.”

Running confrontations

The running confrontations moved from street to street as students first massed at an intersection, followed by police on foot and horseback. The officers would then move down the street en masse, shouting at the students to disperse while occasionally firing paintball pellets to mark those causing trouble.

“It was just too much, just unnecessary,” said a student who wouldn’t give his name for fear that he would face university sanctions. “I saw one guy down on the ground, and cops just swarmed him.”

“This is crazy,” said Michael Dziedzic, who walked out of a sorority formal and into a street scene that featured police horses and officers carrying batons and wearing riot gear. Overhead a State Patrol helicopter buzzed over Dinkytown. The occasional bangs of police paintball guns could be heard as officers confronted groups.

“It’s pretty cool seeing this many people come together, but kind of scary that there are, you know, police,” Dziedzic said.

 

Before midnight, crowds were gathering near 6th Street and 15th Avenue outside apartment complexes and in their cars until police fired two explosive-type devices.

Officers moved in toward 15th Avenue to prevent anyone from going toward the homes in the area. People, no more than 100, scattered after police moved in, with some in the crowd yelling, “We’re going to get shot.”

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