Uptown is not normally a neighborhood prone to muggings and beat downs, so the half-dozen attacks on pedestrians there over the last three weeks have made headlines, and drawn extra attention from Fifth Precinct cops.
Now the cops say they've made progress ending the crime spree.
Michael Alex Dean Boyce and Joseph Frederick Tucker were charged Friday with felony aggravated assault and robbery in the May 10 attack on Edward Curtiss that ended with Curtiss squeezing off three pistol shots at his assailants as they fled into the night.[jump]
According to these complaint, Curtiss parked his car on the 2500 block of Pillsbury Avenue South that night and was walking towards an apartment building when he saw Tucker talking on a cell phone. Then, as Curtiss neared the door, Boyce appeared out of nowhere and started pummeling his face. Tucker joined in, and during the beat down they grabbed Curtiss' wallet. [Boyce Criminal Complaint]
Right at that moment, Curtiss was able to reach for his pistol and fire three shots at his attackers. The shots scared the men off, but evidently didn't hit either of them directly.
But he was close. Tucker denied taking part in the attack on Pillsbury, but admitted to investigators that he later heard Boyce tell him, "I got shot at the other night by an old ass black guy and got a hole in my shirt."
The shots also had the effect of getting neighbors to call 911 -- and to look out their front windows. At least one witness reported seeing the pair running for a tan sedan, and saw the license plate number. That led the cops to Boyce, who had been arrested on Wednesday on suspicion that he'd been part of another recent Uptown mugging: The suspected getaway car was registered to his mother, with whom he lived. Tucker was arrested Thursday. [Tucker Criminal Complaint]
This isn't the first time these two thugs have been in trouble with these cops. Both men took part in 2008 home invasion and burglary in Redwood County. Tucker is still on parole for his role in that crime, and Boyce is also on parole for a 2009 robbery in Hennepin County.