CRYSTAL, Minn. (KMSP) - Police in Crystal, Minnesota are investigating the assault of a young man with a physical disability outside of a Target store on West Broadway on Saturday morning. Video of the attack was posted on Facebook, but has since been removed.
Police are working with the victim and his family and pursuing criminal charges against the suspects, who are known to the victim.
“I will tell you this -- the entire department thinks of it as very serious and what we’ve seen on that video was appalling and it's getting a lot of resources thrown it's way,” Deputy Chief Doug Leslin said.
At one point in the video, it seems one of the suspects was going to check on the victim, but that was apparently not the case.
“One kicked him -- the aggressor, the initial aggressor kicked him in the back, and then I believe he was kicked a couple more times after the video went off,” Leslin said.
We did find a follow-up social media post by one of the suspects who seemed to be making an attempt at an apology. In part it says, "I’m really sorry, I regret all of it."
Crystal police confirmed Monday afternoon there are four suspects in this case. One of the suspects – a 16-year-old from Columbia Heights, has been arrested and booked for third-degree riot and fifth-degree assault. The other three suspects, who are also juveniles, are still being interviewed by investigators.
The victim is receiving treatment for his injuries.
Initial statement from Crystal Police Department
“The Crystal Police Department is currently investigating what appears to be an unprovoked attack of a young male with a physical disability. The incident occurred on Saturday morning, September 16th outside our Target store located at 5537 West Broadway. The suspects were known to the victim. A video of the incident was aired on Facebook. We are working with the victim and his family and pursuing criminal charges against the suspects.”
Update from Crystal Police Department – Sept. 19
“On 09-17-2017 at 1757 hours, Officers were dispatched to a call for service at 5537 West Broadway in the City of Crystal. The call for service was regarding an incident that occurred at approximately 1130 hours on 09-16-2017. This incident had not been previously reported to police. The reporting party of the incident was a family member of the victim. The identity of the reporting party is being withheld at this time because it would likely identify the juvenile victim. The reporting party advised officers that a relative had shown her a Facebook video in which her son was assaulted. At this time, Investigators believe that four suspects were involved in the incident. All suspects have been identified and all four are juveniles. One of the suspects has been arrested and booked at the Crystal Police Department on charges of 3rd degree riot and 5th degree assault. The arrested party is a 16 year old black male from Columbia Heights, MN. It is believed the other three suspects also reside in the metropolitan area. The three remaining suspects are being interviewed by Crystal Police Department Investigators. The victim is receiving treatment for his injuries.”