A man accused of shooting five protesters near the Minneapolis Police Department's North Side precinct station is facing a stiffer charge.

A new charge of first-degree assault was presented Tuesday morning at a bail hearing for Allen Scarsella, 23, of Lakeville. Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Judith Hawley said it was one of the reasons she was arguing for a higher bail of $500,000.

Judge Hilary Lindell Caligiuri agreed with the request, saying that Scarsella was a flight risk and a danger to public safety.

Scarsella was originally charged with second-degree assault and second-degree rioting with a weapon.

Peter Martin, Scarsella's attorney, said his client should receive a low bail because he had no criminal history and wasn't a flight risk because he lives and works in Lakeville. He said Scarsella was an Eagle Scout, a graduate of the University of St. Thomas and had been accepted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Hawley countered with the fact that Scarsella was kicked out of West Point because of misconduct involving a pellet gun. She added that he came to the protesters' encampment more than once with a loaded handgun, "looking to provoke and cause chaos."

The shooting victim who persuaded the county attorney's office to file for first-degree assault is 19-year-old Tevin King. He was shot in the abdomen, where the bullet came to rest so close to arteries that it can't be removed, Hawley said. King has had three surgeries.

The protests at the precinct formed shortly after the death of Jamar Clark, who was killed by police last month during a struggle.

Three other men were charged along with Scarsella for aiding a riot.

David Chanen • 612-673-4465