Unknown vandals tip over and damage SDSU student’s vehicle

Amy Poppinga

Amy Poppinga

When Ashli Johannsen got a voicemail from the police telling her she should go out to her car as soon as possible, she didn’t know what to think.

“When I went out there, there was a tow truck hooked up to my car, and (my car) was upside down,” the freshman graphic design major said.

“I was so confused. I had no clue what was going on,” she said. “I didn’t understand how it got like that or what happened.”

Johannsen’s gray Plymouth Neon was one of two vehicles that were tipped over in Brookings from the night of Dec. 11 to the morning of Dec. 12. Her car was tipped over onto its roof in the back rows of the Intramural Parking Lot, which is next to the Intramural Fields.

After being tipped over, Johannsen’s Neon sustained structural damage on the frame of the car, the roof was caved in and many of the windows were broken, which caused all Johannsen’s personal items to fall out into the parking lot. Her car was considered totaled and will cost several thousand dollars to replace.

The other tipped-over car, which was parked a few blocks from campus, was left sitting on its side.

Detective Jonathan Anderson of the South Dakota State University Police Department (SDSUPD) said it probably took five or six people to tip over the cars, which weigh about 3,000 pounds each. Police are still investigating both cases and are asking for students’ help in identifying the group that caused the damage.

“We’ve talked to several people, but we have not gotten anything from those interviews,” Anderson said.

“If (you) saw or heard anything, contact the SDSU Police Department.”

In Johannsen’s case, if no one is caught, then her family will have to pay the damages. She only had liability insurance on her car, so even though the car was considered totaled, insurance will not be covering the incident.

“It (makes) me upset just because there’s nothing I could have done to control what happened,” the freshman said.

Like the police, Johannsen is asking students to report any information they may have about her case so that her family does not have to foot the bill.

“If you heard anything or know anything about (the incident), let someone know,” she said.

“That would be tremendous for me, and it would get the (financial) weight off our shoulders.”

The SDSUPD can be reached at 688-5117, and the Brookings Police Department can be contacted at 692-2113.

#1.881946:684178333.jpg:Car.Tipping.COURTESY.jpg:Ashli Johannsen, a freshman graphic design major, had her car tipped over on campus, while another vehicle was damaged off campus.:Courtesy