'Best-case scenario': No one injured in melee near U

  • Article by: PAT PHEIFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 13, 2014 - 11:09 PM

Quiet returned to areas near campus after police faced down a crowd riled by hockey finals.

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University of Minnesota students refuse to clear the streets in Dinky town after the Gophers lost to Union Saturday April 12, 2014 in Minneapolis

Photo: JERRY HOLT • jerry.holt@startribune.com,

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All was quiet again Sunday in the neighborhoods surrounding the University of Minnesota, where crowds of disappointed Gopher fans faced off the night before with police in riot gear and on horseback.

A total of 19 people were arrested when crowds gathered in Dinkytown after the U hockey team lost the NCAA championship game Saturday night, Minneapolis police said. Some people were given citations at the scene. Others were booked into jail, but by Sunday afternoon, most had been released, according to jail records.

Authorities had mounted a strong presence in the area Saturday after a celebration of the hockey team’s semifinal victory Thursday night turned rowdy, with damage to cars and objects thrown at police officers.

There were two known incidents of arson reported Saturday night and an “undetermined amount of property damage as well,” police said.

Spokesman John Elder said Sunday that he didn’t want to talk about specifics yet.

“We had five different teams on last night and we have not done a full debrief yet,” he said. “We had a tactical debrief last night but didn’t get into all the things that could have been damaged, so we’re waiting for the reports to come rolling in.” He said it also was too early to estimate what the two nights of crowd control had cost the city.

Police fired some paintball shots into the crowd and ordered fans to disperse. No officers or citizens were injured, Elder said.

“This was the best-case scenario,” he said. “The goal was to keep officers and the public from getting injured and that’s what we did.”

Chief Janeé Harteau was among the officers standing in a line on 4th Street SE., in front of the raucous fans disheartened by the Gophers 7-4 loss to Union College.

Elder said the chief remained on the street until 3 a.m. Sunday. She works as a patrol officer at regular intervals, as do the assistant chiefs and commanders.

Several residents in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood said they had been concerned about possible damage from the crowd, but ultimately didn’t see any.

In a statement Sunday, university officials thanked the Minneapolis police, U police and other public safety agencies for their work in managing the crowds.

“It is important to remember that we have more than 50,000 students at the university’s Twin Cities campus,” the statement said. Only a small percentage of those gathered in Dinkytown and an even smaller number engaged in unacceptable behavior.

“The university, through the disciplinary process detailed in the Student Conduct Code, will hold any students involved in unacceptable behavior accountable,” the statement continued. “That process … will begin immediately, move swiftly and may include a hearing before their peers. If a student is found responsible for violating the Conduct Code, sanctions range from a warning to suspension or expulsion.”

 

Pat Pheifer • 952-746-3284

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