Minneapolis neighborhood activist beaten, hospitalized

A longtime neighborhood activist on Minneapolis' North side activist says he can't remember the details of what happened

A longtime neighborhood activist on the city's North side was jumped and badly beaten Saturday afternoon a block from his house near Farview Park, according to police.

David Luce, 67, said it was an unprovoked attack that took place as he walked to a neighborhood meditation group meeting at 2 p.m. From his hospital bed Monday, he said he doesn't remember exactly what happened but remembers three cars pulling up just before the attack near the intersection of 29th Av. N. and 3rd St. N.

"I have a memory of lying on the pavement behind this parked car and seeing this left rear tire," he said. Luce said he heard several gunshots and remembers bullets whizzing past him as he lay on the ground, but he was not struck.

He's been hospitalized at Hennepin County Medical Center since the attack and expects to be released Tuesday.

Luce says the beating won't move him from the North Side, which he and his wife have called home since 1983.

"There's a strong community here that is proactive and not just rolling over for hoodlums," he said. "I've never felt particularly unsafe besides taking normal precautions. We raised two boys here."

Luce said he was chagrined that the attack may harm his neighborhood's reputation.

"We've got such a bad rap in our neighborhood and the North Side in general. I don't want to add volume or amplitude to that point of view," he said.

Luce emphasized that his neighbors came out in droves to help him afterwards.

"Dave has been a pillar here and we'll do what we can to support him," said Jeff Skrenes, a staff member of the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council.

Hawthorne resident Carey Howell said that the area has gradually been trending safer since the mid-1990s. "The thing that disturbs me the most is kids running round with guns," said Howell, a member of the neighborhood's crime and safety committee.

Another neighborhood activist, Kevin Kuschel, said drug selling has largely vanished from streets but there's been a rash of people robbed at gunpoint in the evening as well as home burglaries.

Matt McKinney • 612-217-1747 Steve Brandt • 612-673-4438

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