A trio of juveniles attempted to carjack a woman outside a Lunds & Byerlys grocery store in Edina, one of Minnesota’s most well-off suburbs. In the process, they dragged her from her own vehicle and ran over another man.
This incident was first reported earlier this month after the small band of carjackers attempted to steal vehicles outside two separate Lunds & Byerlys locations in St. Louis Park and Edina in the same afternoon. It was revealed at the time that the latter of these attempted thefts was thwarted by a bystander with a gun who intervened to save the Edina woman. She has since gone on to give an interview about her traumatic experience, sporting a black eye as a testament to the beating she endured.
Now, authorities have provided further details about this incident, revealing just how destructive the trio of youths allegedly were.
The suspects are 16-year-old Kanye Hardiman, 17-year-old Cayden Whitmore and 17-year-old Vance Chatman — all of whom are from Minneapolis and face first-degree carjacking-related charges.
“[At about] 5:00 p.m., the white SUV next went to an Edina grocery store. There, the SUV pulled into a parking spot next to an adult female victim who was sitting inside her vehicle,” according to an account of events from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. Next, “Hardiman and Chatman proceeded to enter the female victim’s passenger’s side doors — one in the front and the back.”
Bystanders intervened, one was bitten and they were not effective in extracting the criminals from the woman’s vehicle. The accused criminals successfully took control.
“Chatman eventually put the female victim’s vehicle in reverse as he tried to flee the scene,” the attorney’s office reports. However, he was not able to make a clean getaway. Instead, “he struck another male victim in the head with the driver’s side door as he accelerated backwards, and ran over the male victim’s legs.”
Meanwhile, the woman “was still entangled by her seat belt and was dragged through the parking lot as her vehicle was being driven by Chatman.”
The violence finally stopped when “a witness, who has a permit to carry a firearm, intervened and pulled out a gun.” This caused the criminals to flee.
This is not the only violent carjacking to occur in Edina this month. On Christmas Eve, a vehicle was taken “by force,” according to the police, outside the Galleria — an upscale mall known for its wide selection of luxury goods.
Edina leadership is aware of their new crime problem. Mayor Jim Hovland said that his suburb’s “residents have become angry and fearful.”
“At a time when we should be celebrating peace in our families, communities and places of worship, we all worry what each day will bring in the way of criminal activity,” he said amid a Christmas season crime wave. He concluded that Edina is “under attack” by violent criminals.
Other Twin Cities suburban leaders have noticed a similar trend in their typically safe communities and are coming together to form new groups to combat the chaos.