Staff Directory 10646266

Chao Xiong

Reporter | Regional
phone: 612-673-4391
Chao Xiong covers public safety news in St. Paul and Ramsey County for the Star Tribune.
Recent content from Chao Xiong

St. Paul man accused of torching police car, charges say

Brian L. Liston, 45, was charged in Ramsey County District Court with one count each of second-degree arson and first-degree property damage. The charges did not mention a possible motive.
Steve Hammer was fired in 2016 for sending sexually explicit e-mails.

Fired prison warden should not be reinstated, Appeals Court rules

An arbitrator wrongfully reinstated a state prison warden who was fired for sending sexually explicit e-mails to employees and lashing out at others, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled.
Nineteen dogs and their human partners from area police departments graduated from K-9 training in May. Suspect apprehension was demonstrated at the e

St. Paul police K-9 bite cases leave a trail of questions

After reviewing bite reports, St. Paul limits dogs' use for apprehending people.
A light-rail train outside Union Depot in St. Paul in 2014.

Green Line service at St. Paul's Union Depot reopens after investigation of 'suspicious' item

Metro Transit police continue to investigate the item, and no further details were immediately available.

St. Paul woman threatened to shoot officers who killed husband, charges say

Kay M. Smith allegedly said she had been drinking and was feeling suicidal.
Six-year-old Kendrea Johnson was found hanging from a jump rope in her foster home four years ago.

Hennepin Co. settles for $1.5M with family of girl who died in foster care

Attorneys said the death of 6-year-old Kendrea Johnson will improve treatment for other foster children.
Marcus Fischer

Man shot by Minneapolis police in interrogation room pleads guilty to pulling knife on officers

Marcus Fischer admitted in court Wednesday that he brandished the knife while being questioned by Minneapolis police about a shooting.
Days after the fatal police shooting of Philando Castile, protesters blocked part of Interstate 94 west of downtown St. Paul.

Feds say they caught 'Vigilance' hacker who broke into several state databases

The Lino Lakes man, 19, was allegedly upset about the officer's acquittal in Philando Castile case.
Bob Fletcher

Former Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher will run for old post

One candidate dropped out of the race to support Fletcher's campaign.
Bob Fletcher

Controversial ex-Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher plans political event

Bob Fletcher won't confirm whether he will seek his old office.
Diamond Reynolds, the girlfriend of Philando Castile, who livestreamed his shooting on Facebook, arrives in court to resume her turn on the witness st

Diamond Reynolds sentenced to probation for assaulting woman

She continued to deny responsibility for the crime, which didn't sit well with a judge.
Ramsey County District Court Judge G. Tony Atwal was arrested on New Year's Day for alleged drunken driving.

Ramsey County judge reprimanded for drunken driving

Judge G. Tony Atwal violated the law and judicial code of conduct, a board found.
“Little progress, I’ve always believed, is still progress, so I felt proud,” said St. Catherine student Liza Leja, one of three who worked on th

St. Catherine student project prompts St. Paul police policy change

The students zeroed in on St. Paul's outdated guidelines for deaf and hard of hearing.
According to St. Paul Police the school bus belonging to First Student was transporting students from St. Paul Ramsey Middle School when it struck and

No charges in fatal St. Paul crash between bus, bicyclist

Two witnesses told investigators that the bus driver had the right of way when the collision occurred, a St. Paul police spokesman said.

St. Paul police investigating stun gun attacks

The suspects were wearing masks or obscured their faces with clothing.
Ramsey County Sheriff Jack Serier

Potential rival challenges Ramsey County sheriff's residency

Sheriff Jack Serier denied the allegations brought forward by former Sheriff Bob Fletcher.
Alan Grahn was killed while he was riding his bicycle and was struck by a school bus in St. Paul.

Bicyclist killed in crash with school bus identified as active grandfather

Alan Grahn, 75, was big outdoorsman; police continue investigation.
St. Paul police at Snelling and Summit avenues investigated a fatal crash involving a school bus and a bicyclist on Wednesday afternoon.

Bicyclist killed in crash with school bus in St. Paul

The collision occurred at the intersection of Snelling and Summit avenues. About 30 students from Ramsey Middle School were aboard, and some witnessed the crash
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi

2-year review of Ramsey County rape cases finds few are convicted

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi says "we are falling short."
John Nasseff ORG XMIT: MIN1803101118397208

Caregiver who stole from prominent St. Paul philanthropist gets two years in prison

Nicholas Lofquist-Sprangel said he should be ordered to pay restitution and community service instead.

Minnesota FBI agent who leaked secret documents pleads guilty

Terry J. Albury appeared in court and said giving reporter classified data was "act of conscience."
Albert Loehlein

Life in prison for man who killed 95-year-old Anoka resident

Man had pleaded guilty to murder for killing the 95-year-old Anoka resident with flashlight and clock.
Diamond Reynolds, the girlfriend of Philando Castile, who live streamed his shooting on Facebook, arrives in court to resume her turn on the witness s

Diamond Reynolds convicted of misdemeanor, cleared of more serious counts

A Ramsey County jury on Friday convicted Diamond Reynolds of a misdemeanor for assaulting a woman last year, but cleared her on more serious charges.Reynolds…

Permit-to-carry holder shoots, wounds alleged robber in St. Paul

Police said the suspect pulled a gun on the victim and robbed him of $500 before the victim fired at him.

St. Paul boy charged with bringing loaded gun to school

A school staffer had reported the boy's gun talk Monday, but was ignored, her son said.

Ramsey County jail checks were out of compliance at time of inmate's suicide

The state Department of Corrections said the county has since rectified the issues.

Student with loaded handgun arrested at Como Park High School

Police said there was no known threat made by the 16-year-old boy.
St. Paul Chief of Police Todd Axtell

St. Paul police release updated use-of-force policy

Some community groups say the policy doesn't go far enough in protecting civilians.
Dao Moua, left, and his attorney, Paul Applebaum, discuss a class-action lawsuit Monday afternoon outside of the federal courthouse in downtown St. Pa

Supporters of convicted fraudster who promised new Hmong homeland demand their money back, but continue to support his cause

Lawsuit asks government to return cash to donors.
Last month, Jenny Vance, far left, and her mother, Ann Jahnke, demanded answers for the death of her son Darren and for his body to be released.

No charges against Ramsey County deputy who fatally shot man last year

The use of force was justified, said a statement from the Ramsey County Attorney's Office.

Caregiver sexually assaulted resident at Little Canada group home, charges say

Female staffer became suspicious of colleague.
Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

Mother of stillborn baby thrown out with the laundry settles lawsuit with Regions

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

St. Paul man charged with assaulting one officer, spitting on others

The suspect allegedly spat on five officers and struck one in the head with a key.

State Patrol trooper, St. Paul police officer assaulted in unrelated cases

Days later, a man allegedly "brutally" struck a St. Paul officer eight times in the head with a car key.
Christopher Stowe left the jail Monday evening.

Vadnais Heights man charged in relation to son's threat to school

The father of a Vadnais Heights boy who allegedly threatened to shoot up his school owned several illegal firearms and kept loaded guns out in…
Jose Hernandez Solano

Mother, son charged in death of St. Paul bicyclist leaving work at Brasa

Authorities initially identified them as suspects last year.
An arsenal of weapons found in the home of a Vadnais Heights teen after threats were reported.

Three arrested after weapons found in Vadnais Heights home

Boy, 13, and parents arrested after threat leads to search of Vadnais Heights home.
The damaged Metro Transit bus after the July crash in St. Paul.

At sentencing, families forgive drunken driver in fatal bus crash in St. Paul

A survivor and family members of the man who were killed said they forgave the driver, who was traveling close to 100 mph.
St. Paul Police Officer Antwan Denson responded to a call about cars racing on a residential street off Rice St.

Serious crime up in St. Paul last year

Infractions against property rose the most amid the citywide uptick.
Ann Jahnke demanded answers Tuesday in the death of her son Darren, shot by Ramsey County sheriff's deputies, and for his body to be released.

Family of man killed by Ramsey County deputies demand answers, body

Darren Jahnke's family said there's no reason authorities should have withheld his remains for 10 months.
Kim Ambers’ son, Richard, was murdered in 2016 while selling marijuana. More Minnesotans are dying in pot transactions.

Marijuana deals turn deadly for many in Minn., even as attitudes relax

There aren't a lot of concrete answers as to why marijuana transactions are deadlier, but there are theories.
John Nasseff, a local philanthropist who started his career at West Publishing.

Caretaker accused of stealing more than $1 million from prominent St. Paul philanthropist

Nicholas Lofquist-Sprangel also failed to provide basic care, the victim's family said.
St. Paul mayoral candidate Dai Thao spoke to volunteers before the start of the Payne Arcade Harvest Festival and Parade. ] Shari L. Gross ï

St. Paul's Thao charged with illegally marking elderly voter's ballot

Lawyer for council member said his actions to help voter were "perfectly legal."
Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach and her lawyers contested a lawsuit Tuesday that seeks to force her out of the Legislature.

Decision in Fischbach lawsuit pending as legislative session looms

Judge John Guthmann declined to say whether he would decide on lieutenant governor's bid to stay in Senate before session starts Feb. 20.

Child fires Maplewood officer's gun; no one injured

Maplewood cop was in a school gym; no one hurt.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said “this is my life’s work.”

Ramsey County attorney, sheriff races announced

The top prosecutor has yet to draw any opposition.

Lawsuit: Fridley police let K-9 bite, injure handcuffed man lying on ground

Trevor Olesen was on the ground and handcuffed when the dog was deployed, his attorney said.

Stolen dog returned to St. Paul Animal Humane Society

Ace went missing after a man signed him out to go for a walk, a common practice meant to allow potential adopters to bond with a dog.

Suspect altered ID to steal dog from St. Paul Humane Society

The dog, 10-month-old Ace, remains missing.
Emily Anne Staples Tuttle

Emily Staples Tuttle, pioneer in Minnesota politics, dies at 88

Among her trailblazing accomplishments, she was the first DFL woman to win a seat in the Minnesota Senate when she did so in 1976.
Tnuza Jamal Hassan

Charge: Ex-student set fires on St. Catherine campus to protest U.S. military intervention

"You guys are lucky that I don't know how to build a bomb," Tnuza Hassan allegedly said.
ELIZABETH FLORESï ] September 11, 2008 - St. Paul, MN - The College of St. Catherine will now be known as the University of S

Woman arrested after eight fires set at St. Catherine University in St. Paul

The suspect is a former student who stopped going to class last fall. Authorities believe she worked alone.
Nicholas C. Barghini

Fourth sexual misconduct case filed against St. Paul man who lured girls at libraries

Police found videos that allegedly show Nicholas Barghini touching a girl's feet and pleasuring himself.
New Ramsey County District Judge Sophia Vuelo posed for pictures with mother-in-law Li Lo, left, and relative Kia X Lo, right.

Minnesota swears in first Hmong-American judge

Sophia Vuelo will serve on the Ramsey County District Court bench.
Tom Johnson

Ex-Hennepin County Attorney Tom Johnson to serve as ombudsman for clergy abuse victims

"I have friends who have been the victims of clerical abuse," Tom Johnson said.
Steve Hammer

Ex-Stillwater prison warden sues for job back

Steven Hammer sued the state and the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) and Minnesota Department of Management and Budget in Ramsey County District Court on Monday.
Donald J. Bell

Suspect charged in Thanksgiving Day shooting of St. Paul gas station employee

Authorities traced DNA found on sunglasses at the scene to a Le Sueur, Minn., man.
Denea C. Griffo

Wife charged in knife assault on husband in Little Canada

The victim carried part of his bowels in one hand as he fled for help.

Man found dead, exposed to cold in St. Paul on New Year's Day

St. Paul police are investigating the death of a man found outside on New Year’s Day in the Summit-University neighborhood. Police were called to the…
Ramsey County District Judge G. Tony Atwal was arrested on New Year's Day for alleged drunken driving.

Ramsey County judge pleads guilty to driving drunk on New Year's Day

Judge G. Tony Atwal registered a blood-alcohol-content of 0.17 percent, more than twice the legal limit to drive.
St. Paul police officer Greg Williams talked with a group of residents including Craig Schusbel, center, during breakfast.

Living in public housing, St. Paul officers work to build trust

Sixteen officers live in public housing in St. Paul, working to build trust.
“Honestly, I would be OK if they never catch the guy. Maybe he just needed to get food for his family,” said Jason Gatrell, shot by a robber on Th

St. Paul man recovering from shooting: 'I'm just thankful to be here'

Jason Gatrell waited nearly a month to eat his first nonliquid meal after being shot in the neck by a robber on Thanksgiving. When…
Brent Ahlers arrived at the St. Paul Courthouse. The former St. Kate’s guard who shot himself and blamed it on a non-existent black man will be sent

Ex-St. Kate's guard gets probation for false story

Brent Ahlers was charged with fabricating a story of being shot by black man.
Attorney Jim Fleming, Ramsey County's chief public defender in his St. Paul office last month.

Contempt finding rescinded for Ramsey County public defender who challenged court

Jim Fleming was protesting the court's practices.
Dorothy Noga, the civilian who helped break the case, sits with retired St. Paul police officers Patrick Scott and Richard Klein on Wednesday as they

Informant, retired officers recognized for solving St. Paul girl's 1981 murder

A key witness was nearly killed by the man convicted of strangling 6-year-old Cassie Hansen.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi has been elected president of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association.

Choi to lead state county attorneys association

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi has been elected president of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association, becoming the first person of color to take the post.…
Jose Hernandez Solano

Family of Brasa employee killed in hit-and-run pleads for help in solving case

St. Paul police believe only one person was in the vehicle at the time of the crash and the suspect's driving was "erratic" and "reckless."
A St. Paul police officer’s body camera footage shows Desiree Collins’ attack by “Gabe,” a St. Paul police K-9. Collins was injured and is sui

St. Paul police dog attacked innocent woman, suit says

Gabe, the police dog, ignored more than 10 commands to release the woman, the suit said.
Gary Sarppo

Roseville massage therapist charged with sexually assaulting client

New Brighton man calls it a "misunderstanding."
Thomas M. Luby

South St. Paul man convicted of drunkenly killing girlfriend gets new trial

The Minnesota Supreme Court reversed a South St. Paul man’s murder convictions after finding that his attorney conceded elements of guilt against the defendant’s wishes.…

Woodbury man charged in woman's overdose death

A Woodbury man was charged with murder for allegedly providing heroin that led to a woman’s overdose death, according to court documents. John R. Williams,…
Attorney Jim Fleming, Ramsey County's Chief Public Defender in his St. Paul office.

Public defender shakes up Ramsey County courts

Jim Fleming sees system as shortchanging his clients.

Staffer on leave after boy's arm broken in Ramsey County facility

County and state authorities declined to confirm that the boy was injured during a "takedown" maneuver.
Michael Fleming

St. Paul settles with man over police use of force

The city of St. Paul has settled with a man who sued police for excessive use of force in an incident that his attorney…
The orange pylon shows where eight people entered St. Paul's cave system before they were rescued Tuesday morning.

Stern warnings follow rescue of eight from St. Paul cave

Authorities warned citizens to stay out of St. Paul's river bluff cave system after eight people were rescued Tuesday morning from a cave across from Watergate Marina.
Read our comment standards welcomes and encourages readers to comment and engage in substantive, mutually respectful exchanges over news topics. Commenters must follow our Terms of Use.

  1. Keep it civil and stay on topic.
  2. No profanity, vulgarity, racial slurs or personal attacks.
  3. Comments with web links are not permitted.
  4. Comments that violate the above will be removed. Repeat violators may lose their commenting privileges on

Comments will be reviewed before being published.

More from Star Tribune