MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Hennepin County prosecutors filed the first felony charges in connection with violence that erupted Saturday after the Minnesota Gophers won the NCAA men’s hockey championship.

On Tuesday, prosecutors charged Travis J. Hinck, 19, with felony property damage after he allegedly damaged a booking van from the inside. Police said they took him into custody after he allegedly hurled a bottle at them.

Eleven people were arrested – seven of whom were university students – during a disturbance that police estimate caused at least $100,000 damage.

On Monday, city prosecutors charged two college students with misdemeanors.

County Attorney Amy Klobuchar said more felony charges are likely. “It will be helpful if members of the public come forward with information and contact law enforcement,” she said.

County prosecutors are investigating four other cases related to the violence to determine whether felony charges are warranted, added Chief Deputy County Attorney Pete Cahill.

Counting a $25,000 television van and four other burned vehicles, Minneapolis police spokesman Ron Reier said that losses could easily exceed $100,000 in Saturday night’s melee following Minnesota’s win over New Hampshire in Buffalo, N.Y.

Damage is expected to exceed the total from last year’s melee that caused nearly $40,000 in property damage after the Gophers won the NCAA hockey title at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Officials said this year’s vandalism was more serious because it involved more fires – roughly 65.

The violence prompted state Rep. Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, to say state tuition subsidies should be taken away 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.

This year, there were 16 reports of damage to school property, including parking lot kiosks and trash cans that were vandalized or burned and signs that were pulled down.

Saturday’s mayhem happened in the Dinkytown neighborhood, which borders the university but isn’t part of the campus, although some of the violence happened on property owned by the university.

The city had to send 100 police officers and 25 firefighters to restore order and put out fires, Mayor R.T. Rybak said.

However, less university property was damaged than in 2002, said school spokeswoman Amy Phenix. Last year, damage to university property totaled about $55,000.

AP-ES-04-15-03 2324EDT



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