A Halloween-night robbery left a University of Minnesota student bruised and without his wallet.
University senior Chris Bomba was attacked Monday night by a group of men who repeatedly punched and kicked him before stealing his wallet and running off.
According to a police report, Bomba was walking to Espresso Royale Café in Dinkytown around 10:30 p.m. A group of four men approached him at the intersection of 13th Avenue Southeast and Seventh Street Southeast where one of them asked Bomba to use his cellphone.
Bomba complied, but he said the men told him that they didn’t want the phone when they saw it wasn’t a smartphone.
When Bomba tried to walk away, one of the suspects grabbed him by the shoulders while another “sucker punched” him in the head, according to the report.
“They were all around me, kicking me,” Bomba said. “Then they took my wallet and ran off.”
The group spent about $50 before Bomba cancelled his debit card, hitting up a McDonald’s on the way to Nicollet Mall.
The men did not take all of the wallet’s contents, however. Bomba found his driver’s license and U Card in the grass on his way home from school Tuesday — the day after the incident.
Bomba said he felt like the group wasn’t looking for his money or phone, especially because they didn’t demand either before they attacked him.
“I’m a small guy. I’m not intimidating,” Bomba said. “They could have just threatened me, and I would have given up anything they wanted. But the fact that they assaulted me, it seemed like there was some anger there. It seemed like there may have been more to it.”
Erich Berg, a sophomore at the University, biked past the group as they approached Bomba.
“It felt wrong,” Berg said.
When he looked back, Berg saw the group attack Bomba and turned around to help.
“I wish I had stopped and confronted it when it felt off,” Berg said.
Berg said the crime reports sent out by University police didn’t connect with him before, but after this “terrifying” incident, they do.
“It’s definitely going to shape the way I spend my time off campus at later hours in the evening,” Berg said.
Bomba said the incident won’t stop him from going out, although he said he’ll be more attentive to his surroundings and how he interacts with people on the street.
“I don’t like to live in paranoia.” Bomba said.
Insult to injury
Most University of Iowa fans felt the loss against the Gophers on Saturday, but one lost much more than the game.
Robert Biggin, of Dubuque, Iowa, said he parked his “brand new” 2011 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck after the game Saturday in the farthest corner of the Days Inn Hotel parking lot. Biggin was trying to prevent someone damaging the truck by parking too close.
But on Sunday morning Biggin walked out to find his truck propped on concrete landscaping blocks, the wheels and rims gone and the driver’s side window smashed in. His iPod and GPS were also missing.
“I was upset, but I tried not to get mad because I knew that wouldn’t help anything,” Biggin said.
Biggin contacted the dealership that sold him the vehicle. The dealership sent out a truck and four replacement wheels to tow the Silverado home.
Biggin was wary of driving the truck in case the brakes had been tampered with or damaged.
“I didn’t want to drive 300 miles on a vehicle that I wasn’t 100 percent sure about,” Biggin said.
Despite the ordeal, Biggin got a dose of Minnesota nice on Sunday — the hotel let him stay an extra night free of charge and many patrons stopped to ask if he needed help.
“A lot of people were willing make sure I was okay and see if I needed anything, so that makes a person feels good,” Biggin said.
The hotel parking lot doesn’t have a security camera, but the adjacent lots owned by the University do, and Biggin said he hopes the footage will help police in their investigation.
UMN students have traveled to Florida colleges to collaborate with students on various projects.
When UMN students plan for a vacation, having trip cancellation travel insurance is a worthwhile commodity to check out.
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