Goldy the Gopher gets punched in the face

Categories: U of M

GoldyGopherMascot.jpg
Don't mess with Goldy
​Here's something you don't see every day: Goldy the Gopher messes with U of M fan, and gets slugged in the face. Ouch.

It all started out innocently enough. Goldy was out for a gymnastics meet Saturday, seated behind an allegedly ardent gymnastics fan named Douglas Dokken, 60--who also happens to be a St. Thomas math professor.

Goldy started messing with Dokken, tapping him on the shoulder, and ruffling his hair, according to witness accounts. Dokken ignored Goldy for a bit, then blew his cool.

"All of a sudden, the guy just turned around and punched Goldy in the face," says Ellen Sunshine, a witness to the brawl. "We all kind of laughed because we were so shocked by what happened. And then the guy wound up and punched him again!"

To be fair, say witnesses, Goldy was being a little bit irritating.

"Goldy just kind of kept getting in the guy's space," says Barry Colthorpe, Sunshine's husband. "This went on for two or three minutes, at which I'm guessing the guy kind of snapped."

dokken.jpg
Doug Dokken, the math professor who lost his cool

Fortunately, the angry professor's punches ended up "damaging the mask itself, but not the actual person wearing it," says Lt. Troy Buhta, of the University Police Dept.

After that, Goldy ran off. And when the gymnastics meet ended, police were waiting to talk to the man who'd assaulted the Golden Gopher. Goldy himself did a citizen's arrest, Buhta says, and issued a citation for disorderly conduct as well as a trespass warning banning the math professor from the Sports Pavilion and Williams Arena for a year.

"The whole rest of the night we could not believe that we saw that happen," Sunshine says. "Someone freaking punched Goldy. You have to kind of feel bad for Goldy--he thinks he's just doing his job, and all of a sudden gets popped in the face."

Dokken said today, through St. Thomas's press department, that he deeply regrets his behavior and is sorry. "I should have just walked out of there," he said through the statement, adding that he was relieved to hear that the student inside the costume was not harmed.

The statement also noted that Dokken has taught mathematics at St. Thomas for 26 years and holds a doctorate from the University of Minnesota, and that he is a longtime fan of the University of Minnesota athletics who frequently attends gymnastics meets.

Here's the police report:



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13 comments
Ses
Ses

Typical uneven application of the law by the police. They are anti citizen.

JFos747
JFos747

Sounds like Goldy should be the one receiving the citation. He initiated physical contact for 2-3 minutes. I would have kicked him in the nuts !

Goldy's Brother
Goldy's Brother

Dokken could go on a spree......smack around the easter bunny....punish Santa at the mall....maybe go kick goats at the petting zoo......

very nice.....classy.

Lothar
Lothar

Professor Dokken, you have my undying respect and affection for what you did. Someone should've punched that overgrown rodent ages ago. Next time aim for his little bitty gopher dingies.

Gmahh
Gmahh

Bravo...To Dokken...................

Gmahh
Gmahh

What's up with not knowing who this "goldy' is? that Mascot is anything but friendly and waving! and those tennis stink!! I'm serious...........lol

Gmahh
Gmahh

I've already put my two cents in about the arrogant 'goldy'...couldn't have happened to a better 'gopher'...DON'T BAN THE FAN!! BAN THAT WORTHLESS MASCOT! HOORAY!!

eb
eb

That's why you don't invade the personal space of strangers, DUH.

Goldy was every bit in the wrong as the guy was for punching him. Math Dude should fight the citations and enroll in anger management. As for Goldy, s/he should learn to keep their lil paws off strangers.

Just...duh.

no but for real
no but for real

frankly if Goldy were unsolicitedly ruffling my hair and tapping my shoulder, i would want to punch him too. i thought a mascots' job was just to smile & wave? or at the very least, not bother and be disruptive to those who just happen to be sitting in front of them, minding their own business and watching a sporting event?

Jhbi
Jhbi

swing from the tree boy

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