Teens charged in St. Paul beating

  • Article by: NICOLE NORFLEET , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 13, 2013 - 9:28 PM

The 26-year-old St. Paul man that was attacked remains in critical condition, his family reported.

 

Three teenagers were charged Tuesday in the brutal beating of a St. Paul man last week.

Cindarion De’Angelo Butler, 16, was charged with first-degree aggravated robbery, first-degree assault and two counts of crime for the benefit of a gang. Two 15-year-olds face the same charges.

Issac Maiden, 19, was charged last week in the beating. The Ramsey County attorney’s office is reviewing the case of a fourth arrested juvenile for possible charges.

The Aug. 4 attack on Raymond Widstrand, 26, who was beaten near his apartment when he tried to walk through a crowd, has left residents and city officials reeling. On Tuesday, his family said Widstrand was still in critical condition.

“People are just doing this because they are being mean or evil,” said City Council Member Dan Bostrom, who represents the ward where the beating took place. “There simply isn’t any other explanation for it.”

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, Police Chief Tom Smith, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi and City Attorney Sara Grewing met Tuesday to discuss recent East Side incidents as well as possible strategies, according to the mayor’s office.

On Thursday, a community meeting is planned so that police and prosecutors can field resident questions and address safety concerns.

According to criminal complaints, on the night Widstrand was beaten, police were alerted around 11:30 p.m. to a large fight in the area near Payne and Minnehaha avenues, close to the department’s Eastern District station. Officers found 40 to 50 juveniles and young adults fleeing the scene and Widstrand on the ground, bleeding from his nose and mouth.

A witness told police that some girls had started fighting outside a nearby house party and a crowd had gathered to watch the fight when Widstrand walked through the group and was hit in the head and knocked to the ground by one man. Another man started hitting and stomping on Widstrand while yet another person began to pull his pants off.

Widstrand was taken to Regions Hospital, where he was found to have severe, potentially fatal brain swelling.

A witness said Butler was the person who was jumping on Widstrand’s face. A bus video shows Butler boarding a bus near Edgerton Street and Reaney Avenue with two females, according to the complaint. One of the females tells Butler, “you was fighting with him, you got blood and sh** on your shoes.” Butler then looks at his tennis shoes and wipes them. A female is also heard saying, “Yeah, that’s blood.”

Butler told police he didn’t attend the party.

Authorities believe many of the assailants are members of the East Side Boyz or their affiliates, the Ham Crazy gang.

Last month, a 17-year-old pleaded guilty to fatally shooting Vince “Mo” Allison, also 17, after a street fight near Payne and Case avenues. That fight stemmed from a feud between the Ham Crazy gang and the Gutta Block gang, police say.

Police have added extra patrols in the area. Recently police were also awarded a grant to purchase portable camera technology which could be used on Payne Avenue.

“We’re doing everything we can,” said Eastern District Senior Commander Joe Neuberger.

The community meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Arlington Hills Lutheran Church, 1115 Greenbrier St., St. Paul.

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