Sam Rosenwinkel, star of Duluth muffin mace video, speaks about his newfound celebrity [INTERVIEW]

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For Rosenwinkel, a crazy night (right) snowballed into an even crazier month.
The last month has been a crazy time for Sam Rosenwinkel, the 24-year-old star of the Duluth muffin mace video that has become a huge YouTube hit.

THE BACKSTORY: Duluth muffin macer sprays man following epic SuperAmerica argument [VIDEO]

For instance, he was out for lunch with his girlfriend yesterday when two women vacationing in Duluth from Colorado approached him. They had seen the video before leaving for Minnesota and asked Rosenwinkel to pose for photos with them.

Asked about whether his newfound celebrity makes him uncomfortable, Rosenwinkel said "It doesn't bother me but my girlfriend is starting to get sick of it. She doesn't like my head getting any bigger than it already is about it."

Rosenwinkel's unexpected emergence as star of the internet's hottest video of the moment was kicked off by an equally crazy night. Prior to his fateful trip to SuperAmerica just before 2 a.m. on the morning of Monday, January 7, Rosenwinkel was out at a bar with a friend when he was blindsided by a very large man in a case of mistaken identity.

"I was playing pool, and next thing I knew this guy comes flying across the bar, tackles the shit out of me, and I go flying and am on my back," Rosenwinkel said. He says he wrestled his assailant to the ground and was about to "whoop this guy's ass" when it dawned upon him that he was at a bar owned by the same company he works for (Grandma's Restaurants) and thought better of it.

He and his friend then hopped in a cab and headed for the SuperAmerica at 602 East 4th Street in Duluth -- a former Spur station known widely in Duluth as the "Ghetto Spur" -- to buy smokes.

"Here I am, 15 minutes later, at the gas station after just being jacked at the bar, so I was like in this sense that I just got laid out by some guy for absolutely no reason -- what's the worst that could happen?" Rosenwinkel said.

By now, almost all of us know what happened next (if you don't, check out the "Duluth muffin macer" post linked above). In addition to his adrenaline being a bit elevated thanks to his previous encounter at the bar, Rosenwinkel said he was in a hurry at SA because his friend was waiting for him outside in an idling taxi cab. After getting sprayed in the face with mace, Rosenwinkel said he could barely see as he staggered out of the store and had to have his buddy help him up to his third-floor apartment. Though the pain had subsided by the next morning, his eyes remained puffy.

"I was happy the woman didn't attack me after she [maced me]," Rosenwinkel said. "I wouldn't have been able to defend myself. I'm happy she didn't wop me in the head with her sack of muffins."

Rosenwinkel still doesn't know who the muffin macer is, though the SA clerk told him she's a regular customer. In a state of disorientation after being sprayed, Rosenwinkel dropped a $10 bill on the floor of the convenience store. It was found by the clerk and held for him. The clerk also offered to burn a DVD of the surveillance footage for him -- footage that was later posted to YouTube by Rosenwinkel himself.

Rosenwinkel talks about the muffin mace altercation and its aftermath with a light spirit and laughs, but it hasn't all been fun and games. He says he used to be a regular at the so-called "Ghetto Spur" but now avoids the place because he doesn't want to run into the muffin macer again. He said he did pop in there on Saturday for a quick purchase, and was told by the clerk, "You have no idea how many people are in here asking about you."

Asked if he thinks the muffin macer should be charged with assault, Rosenwinkel said he has mixed feelings.

"You can't just go around doing that," Rosenwinkel said in reference to the woman's behavior. "I just like the video being out there so if people do run into this lady, it's like, 'watch out for her. Don't antagonize her.'"

On the other hand, Rosenwinkel doesn't totally stand behind the way he behaved during the altercation. Being in a hurry "doesn't justify me being rude," he said. "I'm usually really good with people like that in public. If I were to ever come across that situation again or a similar person like that... I'd do what any decent person would and say, 'I'm in a hurry, is it alright if I grab what I need here quick?' I'm sure she would've been the nicest lady ever, in hindsight. I wouldn't advise doing what I did just to save a couple seconds."

But whether his behavior was justified or not, Rosenwinkel's impatience that morning and everything that happened the following few minutes -- along with the existence of surveillance footage that's so compelling it almost looks fake -- has made the Chaska native and six-year Duluth resident (he moved up there for school) arguably the most recognizable person in town, for the moment at least.

"I was out a couple nights ago and there were random girls lining up to take pics with me. Everywhere I go, as soon as someone gets a look at me, they say, 'you're that guy!'" Rosenwinkel said.

But while he's cool with the recognition and even stopping to pose for a photo or two, there are limits.

"I haven't signed any autographs because I think that's pretty douchy," Rosenwinkel said.


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14 comments
Wildhair
Wildhair

He was a dick; she was a bitch.  I don't want to know him and I don't want to know her.  Stop making stupid people famous! 

djd33zy
djd33zy

--PMS a MoFo o.O | LOCK that krazy bxtch up

lenti
lenti

This is so five days ago. He acted like a dork and admits it, though he did get the surveillance footage from the SA and post it on YouTube, so I'm not really picking up much of a hint of regret there. It's been my experience that what one is ready to recall one is ready to repeat.

And just a question for City Pages' editorial department (assuming such an entity exists)...if someone writes "ghetto" in a news article, and uses quotes...why? Who is your reporter quoting? Is he using air quotes so he can't be accused of, you know, making the statement himself?

Followup - in what world would you tolerate the use of "ghetto" in the Strib, or a conservative blog, etc. without screaming PC bloody murder?  

I'm pretty dense, so I can't figure out what that information adds to the article other than that little note of vague racism - clearly, one should expect to be assaulted because b l a c k s occasionally shop there.


Angela Salzl
Angela Salzl

she was out of line i agree. But she really didnt take long to pick out smokes at all...... Id snap out too on him but nothing like that, her mouth is disgusting and she surely talks big for someone pulling out mace on a dude standing 10 ft from her. Shes all bark and no bite unless its in a can. Shes the reason its the ghetto spur, been there and yes its ghetto!

Dan Mason
Dan Mason

is he going to press charges? seems like an obvious question..

Paul Theodore Luoma
Paul Theodore Luoma

Thats felony assault. ... I dont care what he said... once you cross that line they better arrest her ass..

Tracy Marcotte Shaffer
Tracy Marcotte Shaffer

Ha! That's too funny. I think that lady has some definite issues but I agree with Rosewinkel that his rudeness in being in a hurry is what set her off.

Donovan Gruebele
Donovan Gruebele

I think she should be charged with assault. He may have been a bit jerky, but you can't go around macing people just because they are annoying you.

Dulcinita
Dulcinita

@lenti You weren't picking up a hint of regret? Are you kidding? He felt like he was in the wrong too and even said so which is most likely why he didn't feel justified in calling the police on her. He was rude, but by no means did it justify her getting so worked up, repeatedly picking at him.. if you listen he's mostly repeating her and commenting on how many muffins are left for her to chose from. She's just aching to do something and she's making sure to inconvenience him further with the time wasting she's doing at the counter. The clerk should have rang up his pack of cigarettes because she was still digging around in the muffins. She wouldn't have had a chance to physically assault him. I'm pretty sure I would have made at least an attempt to throat punch the obnoxious cow for being so ready to make sure some rude guy suffered for ordering over her. She obviously wasn't on the ready to check out. He wasn't looking down on her for being black or being anything except . not ready to check out. By the way, by saying something is known widely by a name other than the convenience store name, putting the name it's known by in quotes is absolutely appropriate. The whole are knows the quick shop as the "Ghetto Spur", not the Kerr McGee on Randolph Road. Get over yourself. There's not even an ounce of vague racism going on in the article. You'd probably find racism in an empty can if given the chance. Yes, you come off as "THAT GUY". 

NativeDuluthian
NativeDuluthian

@lentiIt really is known as "ghetto Spur". I lived in Duluth for 30 years, and for as long as I can remember, locals called "ghetto Spur". It's known that way by locals of ALL kinds, by the way. That gas station is generally perceived as having a higher rate of customers being the victims of crime, in and around the store. And for good reason. I grew up in that neighborhood, and indeed there are far more crimes that occur there than in most other parts of the city.

Get off your pseudo-intellectual high horse. You sound ridiculous.

keny1
keny1

@lenti Go look up statistics on crime based on race in the U.S. and you'll find your answer.

djd33zy
djd33zy

@Angela Salzl --I wouldnt say took to long, she simply didnt kno what she wanted to get. She fully anx that one on & yeah she was a pussy for that one | OAN: Dude a good person for not pressing charges, I wouldnt be that person. Though she might have been charged anyway and us just not knowing about it

lenti
lenti

@NativeDuluthian My issue wasn't with the racist and ignorant term itself, it's with the unattributed quote. 

Quotes which don't identify the speaker aren't really quotes - it's the reporter's attempt to disclaim responsibility for hearsay or their own opinion.  

It's unprofessional reporting and more than a little hypocritical, especially from an organization that would leap on this usage in any other outlet as a gross offense in the eyes of humanity.

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