The 33-year-old man suspected of resisting arrest by State Patrol troopers early Monday morning before being fatally shot while trying to flee a traffic stop in Minneapolis had a history of convictions on violent crimes and was implicated to have gang affiliations, according to a prior court document.
Speculation lingers as to why Ricky Thomas Cobb II resisted exiting the vehicle he occupied early Monday morning on I-94 when Minnesota State Patrol troopers stopped him for allegedly traveling without taillights coming out of downtown Minneapolis. During the stop, troopers reportedly learned Cobb was wanted on a Ramsey County probable cause “pick up and hold” for questioning related to allegedly violating a domestic abuse no contact order.
New information released by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) on Thursday may shed some light on why Cobb resisted cooperating with police: a gun was later found by investigators processing the vehicle Cobb was driving during the stop. Also found were two bullet cartridge casings and a cellphone. The gun was located on the floor behind the center console in the back of Cobb’s vehicle.
Cobb’s felony criminal history indicates that he would have been prohibited from possessing guns.
Although the BCA said in the press release that Cobb was never seen holding the gun in body camera videos released on Tuesday, the information provides some insight into Cobb’s possible motives for trying to avoid arrest. Cobb refused to exit his vehicle upon the troopers’ commands and accelerated away, knocking two troopers to the ground, one of whom had fired at least two shots immediately preceding or during Cobb’s flee from the stop.
Court records show that Cobb had two prior 2014 and 2017 felony convictions for domestic assault by strangulation and a 2018 felony conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The criminal complaint in the 2017 Wright County strangulation case describes a violent episode during an argument with the mother of one of Cobb’s children in which he reportedly punched her in the face several times and grabbed her by the neck, causing her to not be able to breathe. When the victim made two attempts to escape the apartment, Cobb blocked her and again strangled her both times. The victim was holding their 6-month-old baby during at least one of the attacks, the complaint said.
A court document related to Cobb’s appeal on his conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm references Cobb’s “alleged gang affiliation.”
A quote from the appellate court document in support of the court’s decision to ultimately deny Cobb’s appeal reads as follows:
“The [pre-sentence investigation] stated that while Cobb claims to have made significant efforts to avoid being around firearms and criminal associates, ‘it appears that based on his recent police contact during the process of this case, the circumstances of this offense, and his alleged gang affiliation, [Cobb] is, in fact, doing the exact opposite.’ And it was ‘particularly concern[ing] that even after being taken into custody after failing to comply with the terms of his conditional release once during this case, [Cobb] continued to make poor choices by associating with criminal individuals, drugs, and firearms.’”
A photo found on Cobb’s Facebook account posted in May of this year appears to show him with his twin brother, Rashad Imari-Christopher Cobb. In the photo, a tattoo can be seen on Ricky Cobb’s leg that includes the words “1-9 BLOCK DIPSET GANG,” which is a north Minneapolis “lows/lowz” gang.
Cobb also had two convictions for violating domestic abuse no contact orders, as well as a handful of other convictions for theft, false information to police, marijuana possession in a vehicle, and driving after suspension.
Court records show that Cobb pled guilty just last week in Anoka County Court to a felony count of providing false information to police as a predatory offender. Cobb had been out of custody on zero bail awaiting a September sentencing hearing in the case. The plea agreement specified that in exchange for the guilty plea, Cobb’s defense counsel would argue for a departure from sentencing guidelines. The case was charged last October, and the complaint stated that Cobb was required to register as a predatory offender as a result of a 2018 Wright County case. Two of Cobb’s prior domestic cases were out of Wright County: the 2017 domestic strangulation case, and one of the cases involving violation of a no contact order.
Cobb’s three felony convictions would have prohibited him from legally possessing firearms under Minnesota law.
A further search of Minnesota civil court records show Cobb was in court in May of this year fighting a child support order initiated in 2017 when Cobb was incarcerated. The order was finalized in May in favor of the petitioner and against Cobb. The order indicated that further monetary support rulings could be forthcoming to cover a portion of medical and health care expenses for two children, currently ages 5 and 6.
Other court records show that the petitioner in the child support/paternity case received an order for protection on behalf of themself and the two children in December 2021. In granting the order for protection, the court document stated that “the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that [Cobb] poses an imminent risk of causing another person substantial bodily harm and [pursuant to statute] the local law enforcement agency shall take immediate possession of all firearms in [Cobb’s] possession.”
At the time of this report, a final report from the BCA on the fatal shooting had not been released, nor had a charging decision been announced by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Alpha News will continue to follow developments in the case.
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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.