Suspects charged in Monday’s brutal light rail assault

The criminal complaints state that there was visible brain matter on the ground.

light rail
Kevin York (left), 23, and Keaten Morris (right), 19 (Hennepin County Sheriff's Office)

One of the suspects in Monday’s brutal assault at a Metro Transit light rail station has been arrested six times since December and was out of custody on zero bail at the time of the incident, according to Crime Watch Minneapolis.

Many politicians responded in outrage to the assault, since the victim is transgender. There have been 566 other assaults in Minneapolis over the last 28 days, including one just Friday morning where the victim was left “bleeding profusely” at a Metro Transit station.

“This is horrific,” Gov. Tim Walz said on Twitter in response to Monday’s assault. “Minnesota must protect our trans community. We will not tolerate acts of violence toward our friends and neighbors. As Governor, I will continue to stand in this fight with you.”

Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan addressed the assault on Twitter, saying, “Tom and I are praying for the victim, her family, and the trans community tonight.”

“Hate has no place in Minnesota,” she continued.

“While we are still awaiting details about the attackers’ motives, we know that the trans community — and trans women in particular — are regularly the targets of hate, conspiracy theories, and violence,” Rep. Ilhan Omar said in response to the attack.

Several Minneapolis City Council members also chimed in, decrying violence against transgender people.

According to reports from Crime Watch Minneapolis, the victim was assaulted, pushed down the Lake Street transit station’s stairs and beaten again while on the ground. The criminal complaints state that there was visible brain matter on the ground.

Police have charged two individuals so far, Keaten Morris, 19, and Kevin York, 23, but a third individual who was also involved has not been identified. Both are charged with first-degree aggravated robbery and third-degree assault and are currently in jail on $200,000 bail. The complaints say that officers were concerned the incident was due to “anti-transgender bias.”

Morris was recently added to a Metro Transit trespass list for using narcotics inside a transit station, according to the complaints. He was out of police custody on zero bail at the time of the assault in connection to several other cases and has been arrested six times since December, including the assault, Crime Watch reports.

When police located Morris, one of the officers “immediately recognized” him and had contact with him earlier in the morning, the complaints say. The officer also knew that Morris had an “active outstanding warrant.”

According to the complaints, York alleged that the victim was “slashing at people with what he thought was a box cutter.” The victim’s personal belongings were found on York during his arrest.

The trans woman was diagnosed with a rib fracture, pneumothorax, and internal bleeding. The victim was stabilized at Hennepin County Medical Center, the criminal complaint says.


Hayley Feland

Hayley Feland previously worked as a journalist with The Minnesota Sun, The Wisconsin Daily Star, and The College Fix. She is a Minnesota native with a passion for politics and journalism.