The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office has announced charges against three juveniles for their alleged involvement in two Minneapolis armed robberies last weekend. The teens could also face charges in Ramsey County for a related carjacking.
According to a press release on the Hennepin County Attorney’s website, the three juveniles were charged by petitions this week which seek to certify them as adults. They are identified in the documents as Damonie Santana Adams, 17, of St. Paul, Demod Timothy Allen Mcgruder, 16, of St. Paul and Javon Thomas Wilson-Branch, 17, of Minneapolis.
The petitions state that at about 3:45 a.m. on Jan. 16, the juveniles drove to the area of 2600 Pillsbury Avenue South and saw a man sitting in his car. Adams pointed a gun at him and told him to open the car door. When he refused, Adams handed the gun to one of his companions, who told the man to open the car door or he would shoot him.
The man complied, they shoved him to the ground and took his wallet, a backpack and $200 in cash, the petition states.
About 10 minutes later, the teens robbed another man who was getting out of his car with his son in the 3500 block of Stevens Avenue South. The victim said he saw a black Audi SUV driving in a zig-zag pattern down the street toward him. The suspect vehicle stopped and Mcgruder and Wilson-Branch pointed pistols at the man and took a cell phone from his hand. The victim was able to get a partial license plate number as the vehicle left, the petition said.
Within minutes, police saw the SUV at the gas pumps at the BP station at 46th Street and Nicollet Avenue South and attempted to box it in. Wilson-Branch, who was driving the Audi, accelerated forward and tried to swerve around a squad car, the petition states. Instead, he ran into a concrete barrier and four people started to run but were quickly captured.
The charges say that a handgun was found next to Mcgruder. The Audi had reportedly been carjacked in St. Paul at about 3:25 a.m., and that case is still under investigation.
Adams has been charged with first-degree robbery in the first Jan. 16 case. Mcgruder has been charged with first-degree robbery in a second case. Mcgruder was also charged with possession of a pistol while under age 18. Wilson-Branch has been charged with first-degree robbery in the second case and attempting to flee a police officer in a motor vehicle. Charges against the fourth juvenile have been deferred pending further investigation.
Late last month, the Minneapolis Police Department with help from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office conducted a robbery suppression detail that was targeted at cracking down on carjackers.
Prior to the crackdown, Alpha News reported that carjackings in Minneapolis were up over 500% over the prior year. The targeted enforcement detail resulted in over 40 people being arrested. Ultimately, only one party was charged related to carjackings or attempts, and nine others were charged with other crimes ranging from weapons to fleeing and narcotics.
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