Late-night homicide in Cedar-Riverside claims life of young dancer


Around 2 a.m. the morning of Wednesday, June 18, a man was found stabbed and unconscious near the intersection of South Seventh Street and 19th Avenue South, near Augsburg College in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. He died shortly thereafter at Hennepin County Medical Center.

The victim has been identified as 20-year-old Joseph Sodd, III, an alumnus of Perpich Center for Arts Education. He was a dancer and a student at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. No arrests have been made at this time. The Minneapolis Police Department Homicide Unit is investigating the crime.

The day before Sodd’s murder, a crime alert was issued for several neighborhoods on the East Bank near the University of Minnesota. Como, Marcy Holmes, Prospect Park and the University of Minnesota neighborhoods are involved in the alert. Three robberies of person have occurred since June 1, all involving female victims and black male suspects.

A personal safety workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, July 15 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Eastside Neighborhood Services, 1700 Second Street NE, Minneapolis. Call Second Precinct Crime Prevention Specialist Carol Oosterhuis at 612-673-2874 to register.

The crime alert advises the following:
Avoid carrying a purse or bag with valuables (large amounts of cash, checkbook, credit cards, etc). If you carry cash, carry a small amount in your front pocket or wear a waist pack that can be covered by a shirt or jacket. Do not resist if a robber wants your handbag. Being pulled down by the shoulder strap of your bag or purse can cause injuries.

Victims of robberies can be any age and race and can be men or women. Take the following precautions:

Try to walk with another person. If you are walking in or near the University of Minnesota, you can contact 624-WALK for the University escort service.

Carry as little cash as possible. Carry your keys and money in a pocket, not in a purse or wallet.

Be observant and aware of your surroundings. Avoid being absorbed in telephone conversations or music.

Avoid alleys or poorly lit areas.

If you feel uneasy, go directly to a place where there are other people.

If you are walking at night, choose well-lighted streets.

If a robber approaches you, do not resist. Try to get a good description of the robber, as well as vehicle description and license plate number. Call 911 immediately.