A Minneapolis resident says he’s giving up on the place he’s called home for more than 30 years.
Liz Collin spoke with Matt Gulseth on her podcast about what happened days after the Fourth of July chaos, which he called “the final straw.”
Gulseth lives near West River Parkway by the University of Minnesota campus. It was the morning of Thursday, July 6, when he decided to take an early morning walk at 6:45 a.m.
“I’m working my way down … right by the West Bank area, towards Bohemian Flats Park and I heard some fireworks going off, loud fireworks,” Gulseth said.
“I saw from six to 12 Somali youth from my guess, ages 14 to 18-years-old, mostly male but at least two females. They were blowing off fireworks in the Bohemian Flats parking lot,” he said.
The kids told Gulseth they were “just having fun.”
Gulseth said he told them they shouldn’t be waking up neighbors with their “fun” activities.
“Right about that time, I noticed to my left one of his other buddies approaching me and I’m not sure if he threw [them], but the bottom line is the fireworks went off on the left side of my head. It didn’t hurt my face at all, but I went to the audiologist and it’s down 15 to 25 decibels in certain frequencies right now,” Gulseth said.
“I hope it isn’t permanent. But it could be bad long term,” he added. “It’s disappointing because of the emboldened nature of the population and I’m tired of the systemic claims. I mean, we’ve got systemic stupidity in our community.”
Gulseth made a police report but doesn’t expect anything to happen.
“You have half the number of police that other areas our size have. They’re kind of in a helpless situation. Also, I mean, once mayhem starts, you know, what are you going to do? I mean, I’m not even sure if there’s a camera in the parking lot that could track down these kids. But, you know, I don’t blame the police. I wish we had more of them,” he added.
Gulseth said this is the first “physical” incident that’s happened to him, but in the last few years he’s had his motorcycle stolen twice and two of his vehicles broken into.
“I live in a condo community … maybe this doesn’t get publicized, it’s probably harder to sell your condo if people are aware of this, but the crimes just in condo parking lots … those lots are hugely vulnerable. They have access to hundreds of cars,” he said.
Gulseth has been a Minneapolis resident since 1989 but plans to move soon.
“I’m in Minneapolis for a number of reasons. One, I’m helping take care of my mother and uncle in senior living. But, even in Dinkytown, there’s been chaos going on all summer and it’s not getting reported. It was a beautiful night recently and I was on the East Bank on the U of M campus and thought I would walk back to my house but even then I’m thinking … I didn’t dare walk two miles across the U of M campus on a beautiful summer day,” Gulseth said.
“That’s pathetic for a city,” he added.