Widstrand assailant faces new charges

  • Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 9, 2014 - 8:45 PM

Charges say Cindarion Butler attacked officers hours after being sentenced in a nearly fatal beating in St. Paul.

Hours after he was sentenced to 16 years in prison for last summer’s near-fatal beating of Ray Widstrand, Cindarion Butler attacked a deputy and a correctional officer at the Ramsey County jail, punching one and trying to scratch out the other’s eyes, according to charges filed Wednesday.

Butler, 17, attacked the deputy and officer in the jail about 7:25 p.m. on March 25, according to charges in Ramsey County District Court. He faces two counts of fourth-degree assault.

According to the complaint: Butler was sentenced for the Widstrand attack that morning. In the evening, he was uncooperative about his vending privileges in jail. The correctional officer ordered him back to his cell and told him he could lose his privileges.

“I don’t care — I leave for prison tomorrow,” Butler said.

Butler defied the officer’s order and “took up a bladed stance with his body, and visually sized up” the officer, the complaint said.

The deputy and officer escorted Butler, who swore at them.

“I ain’t doing no 16 years,” Butler said.

Butler then swung his left arm back, hitting the officer in the chest.

The deputy grabbed Butler and the two struggled, the charges said. Butler punched the deputy “numerous” times before being taken to the ground.

Butler then spat on the correctional officer and swore at him, charges said. He scratched the officer’s face and neck while trying to get to his eyes, reddening the officer’s skin.

Butler was convicted in January in the Aug. 4 attack on Widstrand. Widstrand, 27, was punched, kicked, stomped on and stripped of his shorts.

Widstrand suffered a traumatic brain injury. He recovered beyond expectations but continues to suffer from mental and physical disabilities. He has said he will likely need medical care the rest of his life.

The night of the beating, authorities believe 50 to 70 teens were at a party on Preble Street near Minnehaha Avenue E. in St. Paul. The crowd spilled into the street to watch girls fighting.

Widstrand, who lived nearby, was attacked when he stopped to help a girl off the ground. Police believe there may have been up to 12 assailants, but only five were charged.

Issac O. Maiden, 19, was acquitted at trial. A juvenile pleaded guilty, and 16-year-old Charles K. Redding was certified as an adult and has a hearing Thursday. Charges against a fifth suspect were dismissed.

 

Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708

Twitter: @ChaoStrib

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