15-year-olds charged for St. Paul light rail station assault, harassment

The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office says three 15-year-olds have been charged in connection with an assault of an elderly woman on a light rail platform last week.

Investigators say they have received no indication that racial or ethnic bias were involved.

The boys face misdemeanor harassment and misdemeanor assault charges for allegedly harassing and kicking a woman at a St. Paul light rail station May 4. They each made their first appearances before a judge Monday afternoon.

The boys did not face felony charges because the victim’s injuries did not warrant the elevated charges, investigators said.

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Their identities and the details of the charges are being withheld because they are minors.

The boys were taken into custody Wednesday night after a social media video of the incident emerged. It occurred at the Green Line station at University and Dale in St. Paul.

The victim of the harassment was Asian-American, leading to questions about the motive behind the attack when Asian-Americans in Minnesota and nationwide have reported a rise in racially motivated attack due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is believed to have originated in China.