Twin Cities weekend crime recap

Bloomington police announced one of the state's largest-ever fentanyl busts, a career criminal led police on a meth-fueled chase through Inver Grove Heights and West St. Paul, an ATM technician was robbed by four men in Edina, and more.

Responders on site of a rollover crash following a pursuit in St. Paul Sunday (Submitted to Crime Watch)

Coon Rapids police conducted a ground search Thursday about 1 a.m. for a domestic assault suspect who fled into a wooded area off Main Street Northwest near the Bunker Hills Golf Club, according to dispatch audio.

Fedell Morris, 29, of Plymouth was eventually located and arrested. Morris has since been charged with felony domestic assault. Charges say he hit his girlfriend about six to seven times during an argument and dragged her off the bed by her feet. Morris remained in custody in Anoka County Jail as of Monday on $50,000 bail. Records show Morris is also being held on several warrants out of Hennepin and Ramsey counties, most for violating domestic abuse no contact orders.

Brooklyn Park police reported on Thursday that they were investigating a shooting death from the night prior. Police said they responded Wednesday about 11:32 p.m. to a report of a person shot at a residence in the 7800 block of Tessman Drive. Upon arrival, officers found one individual with a gunshot wound to the chest. Life-saving measures were taken by officers until medical responders arrived, but the victim was later pronounced deceased at the hospital. Police said two individuals at the scene were taken into custody and booked at the Brooklyn Park Jail for aiding and abetting the commission of a crime, the statement said. Further information about the arrested parties was not immediately available.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on Thursday announced his nomination of Brian O’Hara to serve as the city’s next Chief of Police. O’Hara, who is currently Deputy Mayor of Newark, N.J., would replace Interim Chief Amelia Huffman, if approved by the City Council.

O’Hara was selected as one of three finalists who had been whittled down by a 12-member search committee appointed by the mayor.

O’Hara joined the Newark Police Department as a police officer in 2001 and rose through the ranks to become a captain in 2016. He has since served in several administrative positions including public safety director for Newark, deputy chief of the Accountability, Engagement, & Oversight Bureau, and, most recently, deputy mayor.

The mayor’s nomination of O’Hara will be submitted to the full City Council at its meeting on Thursday, Oct. 6 for consideration and referral to the relevant committee, according to a statement posted on the city’s website.

Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges on Thursday announced one of the state’s largest ever fentanyl busts that took place in their city late last month in which over 108,000 pills were seized.

Chief Hodges said police responded on Aug. 31 on a report of financial card fraud at a Bloomington business. The criminal complaint explains a fraudulent credit card charge was made to reserve a room at a hotel on the 5600 block of West 78th Street.

Marcus Trice (Sherburne County Jail)

Police spoke to Marcus Trice, 36, of Seattle, Wash., who told them his cousin made the reservation for him. However, Trice was not able to give any identifying information about his cousin to police. Trice also told police he was in town for a funeral but didn’t know who the funeral was for.

Trice was arrested on suspicion of financial transaction card fraud. In a search of Trice’s belongings incident to arrest, officers found several credit cards and travel documents with Trice’s name, as well as 11 pill bottles wrapped in clothing inside Trice’s suitcase. Officers opened one of the bottles and found it was full of small round blue “M-Box 30” pills, suspected to be counterfeit oxycodone. Counterfeit oxycodone is widely known to be fentanyl, the complaint stated. Officers later opened the remaining bottles and found they all contained the same M-Box 30 pills for a total weight of over 10,894 grams.

Trice was initially charged in Hennepin County Court with first-degree drugs in addition to the financial card fraud charge, but Trice, who is also known as Fredrick Leon Floyd, has since been indicted in federal court on one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. Trice has been transferred to federal custody where he remains.

Police in Columbia Heights early Friday morning investigated the theft or attempted theft of an ATM on the 4500 block of Central Avenue Northeast. According to dispatch audio, police were dispatched for an ATM alarm at a business in a strip mall. Police arrived to find an abandoned pick-up truck with a chain attached to it, and police aired that it appeared suspects had tried to rip the ATM out of the ground. A perimeter search ensued in the area utilizing a K9 and a drone, but suspects were not immediately located. No public statement was issued by police about the incident.

A Minneapolis homeless encampment near 28th and Bloomington Avenue was razed by a contingent of city workers on Friday morning. The area of the encampment has been a constant source of crime, vandalism and drug use concerns in the neighborhood for months. A source told Crime Watch that several guns had been recovered, including rifles, during the excavation, and that at least 10 stolen vehicles had been recovered from the site including eight scooters and two other vehicles. It’s the second time large scale encampment excavation has taken place in the area since summer. A similar encampment was razed in July in the same area following three nearby house fires.

James Lee Norgaard was charged Friday in Dakota County Court after leading police from multiple agencies on a meth- and fentanyl-fueled pursuit after stealing a vehicle in Hastings on Wednesday, court documents say. Norgaard fled through Inver Grove Heights and West St. Paul before he crashed into another motorist and injured them. Norgaard continued trying to flee and rammed a squad before being taken into custody near U.S. Hwy 52 frontage road and Thompson Avenue.

James Lee Norgaard (Dakota County Jail)

Norgaard is a chronic offender with nearly three dozen convictions including six felonies for crimes such as auto thefts, financial card fraud, and burglary. At the time of his arrest, court records show that Norgaard had at least 14 open cases including numerous felony charges and active warrants for his arrest.

Norgaard was recently convicted in two Ramsey County cases that left him inexplicably out of custody despite the numerous open cases stretching back to at least 2020.

In May 2022, Norgaard was convicted on a gross misdemeanor count of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm or ammunition stemming from a March 2020 incident. Under the terms of a plea deal agreed to by Judge Reynaldo Aligada, Jr., Norgaard was sentenced to 172 days of time already served in jail, and another case involving charges of theft, damage to property and tampering with a motor vehicle was dismissed.

In August 2022, Norgaard pled guilty to a felony count of auto theft, again, under the terms of a plea deal that would cap jail time at 90 days in a mitigated downward departure from sentencing guidelines. Norgaard was left free from custody to await sentencing by Judge Joy D. Bartscher despite having numerous pending felony and other charges in multiple cases across several counties.

Norgaard was scheduled to appear Monday morning, Oct. 3, at a bail hearing on the new charges.

Blaine police on Friday announced the arrest of Justin Michael Kittleson, 20, of Coon Rapids in connection to an armed carjacking that took place outside Cub Foods at Northtown Mall on a Saturday afternoon, Sept. 24, in which a shot was fired by the suspect.

Kittleson has been charged with first-degree aggravated robbery and second-degree assault. He remained in custody as of Monday on $750,000 bail.

Court records show that Kittleson had been convicted in two separate Hennepin County cases involving gun crimes in June and August 2022. Both convictions were stayed, including a conviction on felony second-degree assault where Kittleson fired a gun at someone. Upon staying the 36-month prison sentence in that case, Judge Julie Allyn instead placed Kittleson on probation and electronic home monitoring in a dispositional downward departure from sentencing guidelines. The other was a conviction on gross misdemeanor possession of a pistol in a motor vehicle. Judge Joseph R. Klein ordered zero time to serve on the 365-day sentence and ordered electronic home monitoring to run concurrent with the other second-degree assault case.

Edina police responded to a robbery on Friday about 2:30 p.m. at a bank ATM near 50th and France Avenue South, according to dispatch audio. The suspects were described as four black males who “came at [the victim] aggressively” and grabbed items out of the ATM. The suspects then fled in two vehicles, one with Illinois plates. Police indicated that they found one of the vehicles several blocks away and apprehended one suspect who tried to flee. Police searched the surrounding area for the other vehicle.

Edina police later released a statement saying that an ATM technician had been robbed by four men at U.S. Bank, 4100 West 50th Street. The suspects stole an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the area in a blue SUV and a silver SUV.

The statement said officers found both vehicles on 50th Street at Dale Drive. The silver SUV fled from the area to northbound Highway 100. The blue SUV fled the area on eastbound 50th and abruptly stopped at Sunnyslope Road. The driver of that vehicle ran away but was apprehended by officers on foot at 50th and Dale, and he was taken into custody. Investigators are still looking for the three other suspects and the silver SUV.

Hennepin County Jail records show Christopher Jerel Harris, 30, of Houston, Texas, was booked into custody. Harris was charged on Monday with felony counts of simple robbery and fleeing police in a motor vehicle, as well as a misdemeanor count of fleeing police on foot. Charges say the suspects got away with over $112,000 from inside the ATM. The vehicle Harris had been driving was shown to be rented in Texas a few days prior to the robbery. The complaint said Harris has no ties to Minnesota.

Harris remained in custody on Monday on $120,000 bail and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Tuesday.

Edina police ask anyone with information about the incident to please contact the Edina Police Department, 952-826-1610.

Another Twin Cities high school homecoming football game was disrupted for the third week in a row on Friday. Brooklyn Park police reported that they responded to the Park Center High School homecoming game around 7 p.m. to assist officers working the event. The statement said officers were concerned about large groups of unruly teens and reports that some of the teens were possibly in possession of a firearm. Police found groups in the stands becoming unruly and verbal altercations occurring. Officers were also advised that individuals who had been denied access were attempting to get into the stadium by climbing the fence. Due to safety concerns for all in attendance, officers requested mutual aid assistance from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office. Police said a decision was made with school staff and community outreach members to evacuate all spectators from the stadium but allow the game to continue. Officers were unable to locate any firearms on the grounds or on any persons.

Last week two young men were shot outside the Richfield homecoming game, and the week prior to that, fights broke out at the Edina homecoming game. Richfield police announced last week that charges had been filed against a 16-year-old in their incident, but no other details were available due to the suspect being a minor.

Three fast-food restaurants in St. Paul were robbed Friday night in a short period of time, according to dispatch audio. The businesses included a Wendy’s, Subway and McDonald’s. The dispatcher indicated that the suspects robbed the businesses through the drive-thru windows and were moving in a westward direction during the capers. Police later released a statement to media saying the robberies occurred between 7:15 p.m. and 8 p.m. and all were at gunpoint. In two of the robberies, the suspects pulled up to the drive-up windows, and in one robbery the suspects entered the business. Police offered no suspect or vehicle details and said no arrests had been made at the time.

Police in Eden Prairie responded to a stabbing Friday before 11 p.m. on the 6600 block of 175th Avenue West, according to dispatch audio. A search for the female suspect ensued in the surrounding area with assistance from Edina and Carver County law enforcement. The victim was later reported to have sustained a stab wound to the chest with a 5-inch kitchen knife, according to further audio.

Hennepin County Jail records show that Capricia Stine Dominguez, 28, of Eden Prairie was booked into custody on probable cause second-degree assault. She had not been formally charged as of 3 p.m. Wednesday. There was no public release of information on the incident by police.

Minneapolis police responded Saturday just after 10:30 p.m. to a Shotspotter activation of 20 rounds on the 400 block of West Broadway Avenue, according to dispatch audio. While en route, one officer observed a white SUV speeding through red lights west on Broadway. The vehicle ended up at North Memorial hospital with a gunshot victim from the incident. Police found spent casings at the original scene. Information about the victim’s injuries was not immediately available, and no public information was released by MPD on the incident. A clip of audio indicating automatic gunfire was later posted online that was reported to be the sound of gunshots from the incident.

Two gunshot victims showed up at North Memorial hospital on Sunday just before 10:30 p.m. following two Shotspotter activations near the 2100 block of Dupont Avenue North in Minneapolis, according to dispatch audio. Police arrived at the hospital and a victim confirmed they had been shot at that location behind McDonald’s. Information on the victims’ injuries was not immediately available, and no public statement was issued by MPD on the shooting. Two audio clips were later posted online reported to be the sound of shots from the incident; one of them indicated automatic burst gunfire.

Law enforcement in Ramsey County took a suspect into custody in St. Paul late Sunday night following a short pursuit and rollover crash of the suspect vehicle (top photo). An officer called out just before 11:30 p.m. that that a pursuit had been initiated for speeding and poor driving conduct, according to dispatch audio. Nearly immediately, the officer aired that the suspect vehicle had crashed, rolled over and was starting on fire. The officer confirmed that there were no other occupants in the vehicle, and a perimeter search began for the driver who fled from the vehicle. A State Patrol helicopter assisted in the search, and the suspect was taken into custody just before midnight.

Ramsey County Jail records show that Nathaniel Michael-Eugene Clark, 20, was taken into custody and was booked on probable cause fleeing police. Clark had not been formally charged at the time of this report.

Court records show Clark has an open case for felony auto theft and a misdemeanor case on charges of careless driving, collision with an unattended vehicle/failure to notify, and driving after revocation.

Law enforcement from Isanti County pursued a vehicle that fled into the city of Ham Lake where officers in Anoka County picked up the pursuit before midnight on Sunday, according to dispatch audio. The vehicle crashed near the 15300 block of Hwy 65, and two suspects fled on foot. A search perimeter ensued in the neighborhood nearby on the 14900 block of Aberdeen Street Northeast. One suspect was taken into custody within a few minutes, and the driver was found about 12:14 a.m. inside a garbage can with the assistance of a State Patrol helicopter.

Cole Anthony Meadows and Karina Valerievna Agapova (Anoka County Jail)

Booking records show that Cole Anthony Meadows, 21, of Brooklyn Center, and Karina Valerievna Agapova, 19 of Coon Rapids were booked into custody. Agapova was released after being booked on a misdemeanor count of fleeing police. Meadows remained in custody on Monday on probable cause charges of fleeing police and violating a no contact order in addition to several felony warrants.

Court records show that Meadows was convicted on three felonies in two Anoka County cases in August. Cole received stays of imposition on all counts, including threats of violence, auto theft, and fleeing police, by Judge Jenny Walker Jasper. Meadows was placed on probation for a term of up to five years.

Minneapolis police responded Monday about 2:18 a.m. on a shooting on the 3000 block of Lyndale Avenue South. Police arrived to find the victim shot in the leg and updated the incident to a robbery turned shooting, according to dispatch audio. A suspect description was aired as a light skin or mixed-race male, skinny to medium build, wearing all black and a bandana with a gray design. The suspect reportedly fled on foot. No public statement was issued by MPD on the incident.

Around Minnesota

The Duluth Police Department posted a community notification on Thursday about a high-risk predatory offender who registered their address in the city.

Gene C Anderson, aka John Michael Hackman (MN Dept. of Corrections)

Gene C. Anderson (aka John Michael Hackman), 72, a Level 3 sex offender, registered his address in the 5600 block of Grand Avenue. The move-in location is within one block of a public library.

State records say Anderson has a history of engaging in sexual contact against both known and unknown female victims ranging in age from teen to adult. Contact consisted of Anderson attaining access to the victims then isolating them. Once isolated, Anderson used violence and threats of severe harm to maintain control.

Anderson, whose convictions are listed under John Hackman in state records, is expired from court-imposed supervision and is not currently wanted by law enforcement.

Police in the city of Waite Park reported the apprehension of Frank Mario Tamburro, Jr., 37, following an armed standoff early Friday morning.

Frank Mario Tamburro, Jr. (Stearns County Jail)

Police said they responded Friday about 2:18 a.m. on a report that a male had exited a home on the 200 block of 10th Avenue North who threatened and pointed a gun at a male who was walking in the area. Police were not able to make contact with anyone at the home at the time.

Police returned just before 10:30 p.m. Friday to attempt contact again. After knocking, no one answered the door.

A few minutes later, while officers were still in the area, a male, later identified as Tamburro, partially exited the home and officers noticed a gun on his person. Officers approached the door again and attempted to make contact with Tamburro who refused to speak with officers and went back inside the home. Officers then set up a perimeter around the home and began negotiating with the with Tamburro. Police said the St. Cloud Police SWAT team was called to assist due to Tamburro being uncooperative and possessing a weapon. Residents of neighboring homes were asked to leave the area as a precaution, and a search warrant was obtained to enter the home.

Officers entered the home with the warrant at about 2:05 a.m. on Saturday and Tamburro was taken into custody on probable cause felony second-degree assault. Tamburro remained in Stearns County Jail on Monday.

In addition to St. Cloud Police SWAT, the Waite Park Police Department was assisted by the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office and the St. Joseph Police Department.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating an officer involved shooting that occurred in the city of North Branch on Friday night involving a suicidal man with a sword.

From the BCA statement:

“The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is investigating a use-of-force incident involving police officers from the North Branch Police Department and deputies from the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office. Just before 10 p.m. Friday, officers and deputies responded to the 6600 block of Oak Ridge Court in North Branch on reports of a suicidal man. When they arrived, they encountered a man armed with a sword. At some point, responding officers and deputies discharged both less-than-lethal rounds and their department firearms, striking the man. They performed life-saving measures until the man could be transported to the hospital for treatment. He is expected to survive. This investigation is still in the early stages. Body-worn cameras captured the incident. More information will be released pending further investigation.”

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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.

 

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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.