Juveniles charged in violent assaults on light rail train in St. Paul, Minnesota

Three juveniles have been arrested and charged in several violent assaults that occurred on or near the Green Line light rail in St. Paul, Minnesota earlier this month.

According to the charges, on Dec. 4, Metro Transit police officers responded to the Snelling Avenue light rail station at approximately 9:04 p.m. on a report of a fight. 

Officers learned a group of seven juveniles boarded the Green Line light rail train at the Hamline Avenue station. Surveillance video showed the group became loud and disorderly and start yelling profanities. 

The first victim told police he was standing on the train when the juveniles started yelling at him. They surrounded him and began to punch and kick him. 
The video shows one of suspects pick the victim up and slam him onto the ground. While he was on the ground, the suspects continued to assault him. Several of the suspects were also seen going through the victim’s pockets while he was being beaten.

A second victim told police he and a few other passengers had told the suspects to stop beating the first victim. The suspects then turned their attention to the second victim and began to punch and kick him. One of the suspects stole his phone. 

When the train stopped, one of the suspects tried to steal the second victim’s bike, but the victim pushed him away before he could take it. All the suspects then ran off the train. 

A third victim told police he was assaulted by a group of juveniles as he was coming out of the Culver’s restaurant on University Avenue, which is near the Snelling Avenue light rail station. 

Officers used a still-photo created from the light rail surveillance footage to identify seven suspects. They then located six or seven of the suspects in the Culver’s. The suspects ran out of the restaurant, but officers chased them down and eventually detained three of them. Those three are the ones now charged in the attack. 

The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office charged two of the suspects, a 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy, with first-degree aggravated robbery and fifth-degree assault inflicting or attempting bodily harm. The third suspect, a 17-year-old boy, was charged with two counts of first-degree aggravated robbery. The charges were filed in juvenile court. 

Four of the suspects from the Dec. 4 assaults are also believed to be involved in an assault on the Blue Line light rail train in Minneapolis on Nov. 25. Cases against them have been referred to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office’s Juvenile Prosecution Division for consideration of gross misdemeanor charges, spokesperson Chuck Laszewski said. 

Three of the suspects in the Nov. 25 incident were 16 years old and one was 14. Those cases are not public under state juvenile justice laws.