St. Paul man charged for robbing, punching comedian Josh Blue

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Photo Courtesy: Ramsey County Jail

A 35-year-old St. Paul, Minnesota man has been charged with first degree aggravated robbery after allegedly punching famous comedian Josh Blue in the face and stealing his wallet at a St. Paul bar last month.

Anthony Charles Deberry faces up to 20 years in prison and a $35,000 fine.

Blue, who has cerebral palsy, is a St. Paul native and rose to fame after winning the television comedy competition Last Comic Standing in 2006. Blue often makes self-deprecating jokes about living with cerebral palsy.

According to a Ramsey County criminal complaint, July 17, Blue was at Hot Rods Bar and Grill in the 1500 block of University Avenue. In the bathroom, a man later identified as Deberry, came up to him, punched him in the face twice and took his wallet, which had $700 cash inside.

Blue went to the hospital and was treated for a concussion.

The next day a woman walking her dogs found Blue's wallet, but the money was missing.

A bar employee told police Deberry is a bar regular and goes by "Peanut." A witness to the fight also told investigators she saw Deberry attack Blue unprovoked. Other concerned citizens identified Deberry as the attacker.

Police noted surveillance video from the bar of Blue's alleged attacker matched a previous booking photo of Deberry.

In an interview with police, Deberry admitted to the robbery, saying he felt Blue "disrespected" him. He told police he took $79 from Blue's pants pocket, said he didn't take the wallet.

An omnibus hearing for Deberry is scheduled for September 28.