Two Minneapolis men were charged Friday with robbery and assault in a May 11 attack on a 61-year-old man, one of a series of assaults on pedestrians in the Uptown neighborhood that left several with concussions.
Charges say Michael Alex Dean Boyce, 19, and Joseph Frederick Tucker, 21, punched Edward Curtis in the head repeatedly and then took his wallet.
They said nothing before the attack, with Boyce blindsiding the victim with three or four rapid punches, police said. The blows broke Curtis' nose and several facial bones, according to the complaint.
Curtis drew a pistol and fired three times at the robbers, who ran to a nearby car. Witnesses saw the car drive off and were able to tell police four of the six characters on its license plate. Investigators who were already looking into other Uptown assaults showed Curtis photographs of the two suspects, and he identified them as his attackers, according to the complaint.
Each was charged with first-degree aggravated robbery and third-degree assault. Under questioning after his arrest Thursday, Tucker denied that he was responsible for the May 11 robbery, but added that Boyce told him, "I got shot at the other night by an old-ass black guy and got a hole in my shirt," according to the complaint.
Boyce also was picked out of a photo lineup by the victim of a May 9 robbery, according to the complaint.
A vehicle registered to Boyce's mother, with whom Boyce lives in the 3100 block of Grand Avenue S., matched the description given by witnesses after the attack on Curtis.
A search of the vehicle turned up items stolen from another person May 9, the complaint said. A Minneapolis police spokesman said both men could face more charges from other Uptown assaults.
Boyce is on parole for a 2009 Hennepin County robbery. Tucker, who lives in the 3700 block of Stevens Avenue S., is on parole for a 2008 home invasion in Redwood County.
It's still not entirely clear how police were led to the two suspects, but two Fifth Precinct patrol officers found information helpful to the case, said Fifth Precinct inspector Matt Clark.
The precinct won a department award in 2010 for crime reduction and this year again leads the city in crime reduction.
Matt McKinney • 612-217-1747