On the heels of a recent dust-up over a St. Paul Police Department document describing the Metro Transit Green Line as a “crime magnet” and source of increased crime in the metro, a new video has surfaced showing two teens robbing and assaulting a man in a wheelchair at a light rail transit platform near the Minnesota Capitol.
The attack happened about 4:30 on Sunday afternoon Aug. 25 on a transit platform near Rice Street, but was just revealed in a report on Friday by WCCO. The video shows two suspects who were reported to be 14 years old approaching the man, accosting him before knocking him over and apparently stealing his cell phone. The teens can be seen fleeing from the robbery on green Nice Ride rental bikes.
In July it was reported that US Rep. Betty McCollum took issue with a grant application document submitted to the US Dept. of Justice by the St. Paul Police Department that described the Metro Transit Green Line as a contributor to an increase in crime spanning Minneapolis and St. Paul including “organized crime,” gang and gun violence. The application stated that areas adjacent to the Green Line were consistently the “hottest grids in the city” with robbery and aggravated assaults being in the top incidents reported.
KSTP reported last year that law makers were weighing solutions amid a rise in transit-related crime stating that despite hundreds of cameras and special teams like Metro Transit’s sex crimes unit it wasn’t enough to combat the rising crime rates on the trains and buses. The report said that transit-related violent crimes including physical and sexual assaults rose by over 40 percent from 2016 to 2017 and that felony theft was by far the biggest crime related to metro transit rides.
The WCCO report about the robbery of the man in the wheelchair said that police know who the two suspects are but that the status of custody or charges was not known, and that the Metro Transit police report was heavily redacted shedding little light on what happened.
A Metro Transit spokesperson downplayed the assault telling WCCO, “it’s safe to ride the trains.”
VIDEO AND WCCO REPORT:
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