ADVERTISEMENT

Armed robber ambushes U student on 21st birthday near Williams Arena

  • Article by: Paul Walsh
  • Star Tribune
  • April 28, 2014 - 7:57 PM

After a lull for the past two months, another alert was sent over the weekend to University of Minnesota students about a violent crime.

This one occurred shortly before midnight Friday along University Avenue SE., just south of Williams Arena, according to Minneapolis police.

Authorities say a man rushed out from some bushes brandishing a semiautomatic handgun. A student, who turned 21 that day, was robbed of her cellphone, but was otherwise unharmed.

The man ran toward TCF Stadium and remains at large, according to police.

A string of sexual assaults and sometimes violent robberies starting last fall and continuing well into February set the campus on edge and prompted university officials to increase security, adding brighter lights, more police and new security cameras. Most of the crime, however, targeted students walking off campus at night.

The victim said Monday that she was walking home alone from a party and talking on her cellphone when the man appeared and demanded her phone.

“I had never experienced trouble before at the university, which is why I felt safe walking back to my apartment alone,” said the woman, who asked that her name be withheld out of concern for her safety.

She added that she was aware of the crimes in and around campus since late last year, “but I wasn’t intoxicated and felt aware of my surroundings, which caused a false sense of security.”

The woman said she couldn’t offer police much of a description of the suspect, explaining, “It was dark, and I only got a glance at him.”

Anyone with information about this most recent crime is asked to call Minneapolis police at 612-692-8477.

 

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

© 2014 Star Tribune