Police investigating 3 violent assaults, robberies near U of M campus

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Three people were violently assaulted and robbed near the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus over a 36-hour period this past weekend.

According to University Police, all three victims were just off campus (two on the East Bank, one on the West Bank) when they were approached by at least one person and physically attacked. The suspect (or suspects) then took items and fled.

The three incidents, according to university police:

Friday, Nov. 14, 1:30 a.m.

  • A female student was walking home near the intersection of 12th Avenue and 6th Street Southeast and noticed a single suspect following her. She turned to confront the person, and the suspect struck her in the face and took her wallet.

Saturday, Nov. 15, 1:30 a.m.

  • The male victim was walking home when he was approached from behind by three suspects near the intersection of Riverside Avenue and 19th Avenue Southeast. The suspects assaulted the man, possibly resulting in a broken nose, and fled with his jacket, wallet and keys.

Saturday, Nov. 15, 9:45 p.m.

  • A male victim was walking on 14th Avenue Southeast near the intersection of Seventh Street when four male suspects came up to him. One asked for a cigarette, then hit the victim in the face. The suspect continued hitting the man while the three others rifled through the suspect's jacket pockets. They took his wallet and fled.

Both victims who were approached by multiple suspects described their attackers as young – all seemingly under 20 years old, maybe as young as 15.

The spate of incidents comes after a 2013 fall semester in which university police sent out 18 crime alerts for 23 separate incident, the most such notices in six years.

As a response, this year the U hired more campus police officers, restricted access to more of its buildings, and made security a higher priority during the orientation of new students, MPR reported.

Since freshman move-in day toward the end of August, eight different crime alerts have been send out by the university police.

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