Prosecutors think jealousy and racial bias led Cold Spring, Minn. man to target family's home

Cold Spring police are investigating after a man allegedly drove a stolen SUV into a home intentionally.

A new twist to the story surrounding the Stearns County man who is accused of ramming an SUV into a Cold Spring home back in July.

According to a new complaint against Benton Beyer, prosecutors believe his alleged actions were racially motivated.

We reported on this story at the end of July but we didn’t know what the motivation might be for the incident in which police say Beyer allegedly used an SUV as a weapon on an innocent family. With an amended criminal complaint, we have a much better understanding of what was apparently on Benton Beyer's mind.

Home surveillance video captured the SUV moving toward the home of the Robinson family. With a piece of granite on the accelerator, it was moving fast and caused quite a bit of damage destroying furniture and siding on the home.

Initially, Benton Beyer was charged with theft, stalking, property damage, and harassing the Robinson family over several months even driving by their home several times a day.

The new charges include two counts of second-degree assault and include the alleged motivation for the crime. Prosecutors believe Beyer was upset his girlfriend had cheated on him with a Black man and started fixating on Black men in general.

The complaint reads: "[The girlfriend] told investigators that when the defendant would see any black male, he would comment negatively to her and ask her if she was sleeping with them too. The defendant’s jealousy and anger toward [the girlfriend] devolved into bias crimes inflicted upon a bi-racial household."

That turned out to be the Robinson family and their home. No one in the family knows Beyer but it appears he also fixated on the family because they are bi-racial.

Investigators say Beyer stole the SUV early on July 24, drove to the Robinsons' home, and rigged the accelerator with a rock so it smashed into the home. Beyer walked away from the scene but was arrested a short time later.

Prosecutors are also asking for additional prison time outside of sentencing guidelines for aggravating factors including the crimes happening in the presence of a child and in a location where victims had an expectation of privacy -- meaning the family’s home.

Benton Beyer remains in the Stearns County Jail. His next court appearance is set for September 9.