A University of Minnesota sophomore avoided becoming a robbery victim early Thursday when he pushed away a revolver that two men pointed at him as he tried to get inside his campus apartment building. But two other students in separate holdups this week were not as fortunate.

Calvin Carpenter, 19, from Madison, Wis., said he tried to act confidently as he fended off the would-be robbers who had brandished the weapon and ordered him to "give me your money" as he made his way into the lobby of the Bridges apartment building on the 900 block of University Avenue SE. at 3:25 a.m. He got help from the security guard who was on duty, forcing the robbers to flee empty-handed.

"They kind of freaked out. I'm sure that is not the response they were expecting," said Carpenter. "I've never been trained to deal with anything like this, but I have prepared mentally to know what to do. If I had not been in the lobby, I probably would not have gotten away as easily as I did."

Police suspect the men of two other robberies near campus this week in which they got away with students' cash, electronics and school IDs. In one case, they also stole a debit card and used it to make a purchase at a convenience store, said Lt. Sean McGinty of the Minneapolis Police Department's robbery unit.

The other robberies occurred at 10 p.m. Tuesday in the area of 6th Street and 11th Avenue SE. and at 10:20 p.m. Wednesday near 8th Street and 14th Avenue SE.

Victims told police two men in their early to mid 20s wearing dark coats and hats approached them and displayed a black handgun. All three victims were walking alone.

If you have information, call 612-692-TIPS (8477) or send an anonymous tip to CRIMES (274637) and begin the message with: TIP 674.

Tim Harlow