Seven juveniles were charged Thursday with attacking a St. Paul man and stealing his car while his two young children were inside.
Four 16-year-old suspects were each charged in Ramsey County juvenile court with one count of first-degree aggravated robbery and two counts of kidnapping, all felonies. The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office has moved to charge them as adults.
Three 15-year-old boys were each charged with identical counts.
According to the complaint: Police were called about 2:22 p.m. Sunday to the 500 block of Virginia Street.
The victim said family members were on their way to dinner to celebrate his 8-year-old son’s birthday. He put his son and 1-year-old daughter in a van parked in front of his house and was adjusting the car seat when he was attacked.
“Without saying anything, one of the males struck [the victim] across his throat ‘clothes lining’ him and knocking him to the ground,” the charges said. “…[The victim] was knocked to the ground and was kicked and punched while on the ground. Some of the suspects went through his pockets and took his wallet.” The victim suffered bruises and scrapes on his head, face, hands and leg. His children were not physically hurt.
One of the suspects jumped into the van and drove off as the man’s son screamed, the charges said. The suspect drove to the nearby intersection of Sherburne Avenue and Virginia Street, abandoned the van and jumped into one of two cars parked nearby. The suspects fled in the cars. The children were not hurt.
The victim told police about 10 juveniles, some who never left the cars, were involved.
A St. Paul police officer working off-duty at the Target store at 1300 University Av. heard the report of the attack over police radio and saw two groups of five boys entering the store about 2:32 p.m.
The suspects picked several debit and gift cards. One of them tried to pay at a self-checkout register with several credit cards but was rejected.
The officer confirmed the victim’s name on a credit card and arrested the suspect attempting to make the purchase. The others fled the store, the charges said.
The officer pursued the group through the parking lot.
Police also found the two alleged getaway cars parked in the lot and learned that they had been stolen out of Minneapolis, the complaint said.
The victim identified the suspect who assaulted him, the charges said.