Felony Charges Against Minnesota Rioter

Authorities in Minneapolis filed felony charges against one man who was arrested during rioting Saturday night following Minnesota’s second straight national championship.

The Associated Press reported that prosecutors charged Travis J. Hinck, 19, with a felony after he allegedly damaged a police booking van from the inside. Police said they took him into custody after he threw a bottle at them.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune said Kyle Bernhardt, 20, was charged with obstruction of legal process, and Katherine Roth, 20, was charged with disorderly conduct. Both were released from the Hennepin County jail Monday after being charged with the misdemeanors.

Eleven people, including seven university students, were arrested. The city had to send 100 police officers and 25 firefighters to restore order and put out fires, Mayor R.T. Rybak said.

According to the Associated Press and KARE-TV, Minneapolis police were called in to disperse the crowd that lit two KARE trucks on fire, threw beer bottles at media vehicles, and hung from streetlight posts in an area bordering the campus known as Dinkytown.

Rioters also set several dumpsters on fire, and purportedly attempted to roll a flaming dumpster into a Starbucks coffee shop. The manager from that restaurant was seen trying to put the fire out with a garden hose, according to Kristi Rollwagen, spokesperson for the Minneapolis Fire Department.

Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar told the Associated Press there probably will be more felony charges.

Damage is expected to exceed the total from last year’s violence, which caused nearly $40,000 in property damage after the Gophers won the title in St. Paul, Minnesota. Officials said this year’s vandalism was more serious because it involved more fires – about 65. Police estimate damage costs will total at least $100,000.

The Star-Tribune said state Rep. Marty Seifert, R-Marshall is calling for taking away any state tuition subsidies from university students convicted of crimes in connection with rioting.

“Minnesota taxpayers should not be forced to invest in people who have no regard for the law, their fellow citizens or their personal property,” Seifert said in a news release.

Minnesota beat New Hampshire 5-1 to win its second straight Division I ice hockey championship. Rioting also followed last year’s championship, won by Minnesota.