U of M student recounts violent Hennepin/University robbery from hospital
The students were standing at this intersection when one of them was suddenly grabbed by a knife-wielding robber.
Just after midnight Monday morning, Emily and her roommate, both 21-year-old University of Minnesota students, were walking home from a night out at the Gay 90's when they found themselves waiting for a traffic signal on the southeast corner of Hennepin and University Avenues in Northeast.
Suddenly, someone grabbed Emily around the waist from behind.
"He just came up behind me and grabbed me and put a knife to my throat and started screaming at us to 'give me your money,'" Emily tells us. (Emily isn't her real name, which she asked us to withhold.)
Emily's roommate started screaming, which drew the attention of at least one witness who immediately called 911. She also pulled out a $5 bill and gave it to the assailant.
"We were just coming back from downtown carrying a couple bucks and our phones and so she gave him the the money, and then he started asking for more but we didn't have any and he basically just started freaking out," Emily says. "He stabbed me in the back and then threw the knife at her and ran away."
After the suspect fled, Emily noticed her roommate was bleeding badly from a wound in her bicep area, so she took off her shirt for use as a tourniquet.
"I was kinda in a daze but then she saw her arm and started screaming and I kinda snapped out of it and just grabbed my shirt," Emily says. "I tied it around her arm and she had to sit down because she was feeling faint, and I laid down because I was feeling dizzy."
Nonetheless, Emily thought the suspect had just punched her in the back at first. She didn't realize she'd been stabbed until she was on her way to the hospital, where both she and her roommate underwent surgery.
"Her artery was sliced and also one of her major nerves, so she actually had a lot more precise surgery and it took a lot longer than mine," Emily says. "I had a punctured lung, so they just had to put a tube into my lung, and it's draining right now."
Emily says both she and her roommate are "doing great" and should be released from the hospital before the end of the week.
Asked what she remembers about the assailant, Emily says that he was black, wore dark clothes, stood about 5'11", and wore some sort of ski mask.
(For more, click to page two.)
Emily praised the MPD for arriving at the scene of the crime so quickly. She says it was "less than a minute" between the 911 call and police getting there.
"It was amazing," she says.
Emily also says University of Minnesota officials "have been great with accommodating us," as both she and her roommate are missing the last week of class for obvious reasons.
Asked how she anticipates the incident will change the way she goes out in the future, Emily says, "At first it'll be kinda freaky but after a while I'll just make sure to take the bus or a taxi."
Meanwhile, the MPD is offering up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to the suspect's arrest.
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