The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

September 30, 2013

Mankato police: Homecoming weekend busy

MANKATO — Plenty of activity but nothing particularly dramatic occurred during the Minnesota State University homecoming weekend on the 10th anniversary of a homecoming riot at MSU.

On Oct. 4 and Oct. 5, 2003, a riot involving more than 2,000 people and a response from 160 officers from 41 agencies resulted in fires, smashed windows and an overturned vehicle. That year, balmy summer-like weather played a role in the alcohol-fueled behavior.

The 2013 homecoming started rainy and remained cool.

"It was a busy weekend, lots of calls for service and lots of people out and about but nothing reminiscent of 10 years ago," said Mankato Public Safety Cmdr. Matt DuRose.

One downtown incident that resulted in a massive show of force at about 11:45 p.m. Saturday night turned out to be little more than a scuffle. One man was arrested after a confrontation started in a line of people waiting to get into an all ages concert in the Mankato Event Center in the Mankato Place mall.

Law enforcement officers from several agencies responded to the initial call, including some in squad cars with emergency lights. There was a large group of people in the mall, but the incident was quickly under control, Cmdr. Dan Schisel of the Mankato Department of Public Safety said Monday.

The only call to The Free Press came at 2:30 a.m. Sunday from a man who hoped for a story about him being kicked off the the bus that runs from downtown bars to the campus — a bus commonly referred to as "the drunk bus."

"I was on a MSU bus I think on one of the main avenues and they wanted to start chanting 'USA' and I said 'I want the USA to pull out of Syria,' and I said, 'Allahu Akbar,' sharing my Muslim beliefs," said the man, whose slurred speech seemed to indicate that he didn't share the Muslim prohibition against alcohol use.

The man said the bus driver then pulled to the side of the road and asked him to exit the bus.

"Now I'm walking two or three miles back to my home for sharing a belief in Islam," he said. "... I just feel it's kind of (messed) up."

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