A 25-year-old Minneapolis man has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for the violent armed robbery of a once-popular downtown Minneapolis nightspot, whose manager fired him one day earlier, and the assault of a corrections officer months later.
Hakeem A. Coles was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Minneapolis after pleading guilty to robbing Cowboy Jack's in August 2019. He also pleaded guilty to assault in the Sherburne County jail beating.
"Mr. Coles inflicted extreme violence and injury on his victims," U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald said in a statement. "This type of violence is unacceptable in our communities."
One day after he was fired as a security guard, Coles pulled a short-barreled shotgun from his pants, pumped it and pointed it at the general manager as she removed $24,000 from the safe.
He then ordered the general manager to her knees as she begged for her life and explained that recent knee surgery made her unable to obey him. Coles tied her up and knocked her unconscious with a punch to the head.
Coles fled to Texas, where he allegedly committed another armed robbery. He was arrested in Louisiana, where he was found in possession of a semi-automatic pistol and another short-barreled shotgun. He faces federal charges for those alleged crimes.
In January, while under federal custody in the Sherburne County jail, Coles assaulted and seriously injured a corrections officer, the Sheriff's Office said.
Coles ambushed the officer on a jailhouse walkway with a blow to the head, Sheriff Joel Brott said. The 50-year-old officer fell to the floor, and Coles hit him again in the head "multiple times," Brott said.
The U.S. Attorney's Office, in a court filing ahead of last week's sentencing, said the officer has yet to return to work because of his injuries.
Coles' record includes a 2012 robbery. He was under supervised probation at the time of the Cowboy Jack's holdup for stabbing, punching and robbing a man in north Minneapolis during a marijuana purchase in February 2018.