The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Students attacked by group of bikers

By David Hertz

Three people were attacked near campus on Snelling Ave. in three separate incidents last Friday night that police characterized as random acts of violence.At around 9 p.m., five black teenage males on bicycles asked to use a student’s cell phone, and punched him when he refused. They tried to steal an iPod from a 21-year-old male non-student at a bus stop on Grand Ave. and Snelling Ave., and attacked him after he resisted. They also attacked a couple on campus, seriously injuring one person, according to a campus security announcement. Two of the assailants were the main aggressors, while the others joined in after the fighting started, police said.

Paul Schnell, public information officer for the St. Paul police department, said the attackers’ motivation was unclear.

“These kids weren’t making demands, give me your money, give me your watch, give me your backpack. This almost had the appearance of being, ‘we’re going to mess with people’. They didn’t have the motive of being connected to robbery in a really clear way,” Schnell said.

The St. Paul police have assigned detectives in the juvenile department to the investigation, are contacting nearby school authorities, and have increased their patrols in the area.

It is unlikely that the investigation can be solved because of a lack of witnesses or physical evidence, Schnell said.

“It’s more likely that we’re going to have somebody say that one or more of these kids had talked about what they had done,” he said.

Police are spreading awareness of the attacks in the hopes of preventing a reoccurrence and encouraging someone with information on the perpetrators to come forward.

The college will communicate more closely with the police and assess its security in response to the attacks, said Dean of Students Jim Hoppe.

“Any time something like this happens, its our responsibility to review what we’re doing and see if we can do something better,” Hoppe said. “We want everyone to feel safe on campus.”

Schnell and Hoppe commented on the unusual nature of the crime. While Mac-Groveland is a relatively low crime neighborhood, the lack of financial motivation made it particularly unusual for the area.

“It’s a little unusual in the sense that we certainly have had problems with patterns of street based robberies. This, where it was five people and it was bent on [violence] rather than on getting something is a little unusual anywhere,

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