MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A University of St. Thomas math professor is banned from the Sports Pavilion and Williams Arena for one year, after he punched Minnesota mascot Goldy Gopher in the face.
Sixty-year-old Doug Dokken has been a St. Thomas professor for 26 years and holds a doctorate from the University of Minnesota.
Last Saturday at the men’s gymnastics meet, Goldy was just doing what he does at every U of M event — cheering on the fans, hanging out in the bleachers and playfully touching some of his fans.
When Goldy touched Dokken, he became annoyed.
“Goldy tapped him once or twice on the shoulder, the man became upset, turned around and punched Goldy twice in the mask,” said Lt. Troy Buhta of the University of Minnesota Police Department.
Goldy, who is a 19-year-old student, wasn’t hurt — but his mask was damaged. He contacted police and Dokken was cited for disorderly conduct.
“He said he was upset by the fact that Goldy was bothering him and felt humiliated and that’s the reason for his aggression that day,” Buhta said.
Dokken was back in the classroom teaching math Wednesday at St. Thomas. He released a statement saying he “deeply regrets” punching Goldy and is “sorry,” adding, “I should have just walked out of there.”
Dokken also said he was relieved that no one was hurt.