Minneapolis flash mob beatings: Victim details "sudden" attack on Saturday night, March 31

The spree of mob assaults in downtown Minneapolis -- including a dual beating last Saturday -- hasn't escaped the notice of CNN.
The spree of mob assaults in downtown Minneapolis -- including a dual beating last Saturday -- hasn't escaped the notice of CNN.

We wrote yesterday that last weekend seemed to have come and gone without another mob beating in downtown Minneapolis. Unfortunately, we spoke too soon.

Last Saturday at about 11:30 p.m., a group believed to consist of four juveniles assaulted two victims in quick succession in front of the Foshay Tower near 8th & Marquette. One of the victims, 27-year-old Matthew Collie, was knocked unconscious and ended up with a broken tooth. The other victim didn't want to be named, but ended up with serious injuries, including a broken arm, according to two sources. Neither victim was robbed.

Sgt. Steve McCarty of the Minneapolis Police Department said one juvenile was arrested in connection with the attack. The other three got away.

Collie said he was walking downtown on his way to a show when he stopped at an ATM near 9th and Marquette.

What I remember is at one moment I was walking down the sidewalk, and the next thing I knew I was sitting on the sidewalk. I had lost consciousness. I only realized as people came up to me that I had been attacked in some way, punched in the jaw most likely. There was a cut on my chin, and I broke a tooth, but other than that I was okay.

Collie said he has no recollection of who attacked him. Dave Johnson, a witness who works in the area and saw the tail end of the incident, said, "most of [the assailants] were African American," adding that they seemed to be "high school kids."

"It happened so fast," Johnson said.

Collie was apparently the second victim the juvenile mob attacked in quick succession. According to Johnson, "50 or 60 steps" before Collie was attacked, the group "hit a guy, then kicked him." The 55-year-old victim of that attacked suffered serious injuries -- including a broken arm, according to sources -- but declined to discuss the incident on the record, citing concerns about falling prey to another beating.

Sgt. McCarty said the March 31 attack was "different than most of them we've had. Most have had larger groups, and five people would break off and attack." In this case, the group of four assailants weren't accompanied by a larger group. McCarty said it's too soon to say whether the juvenile arrested in connection with Saturday's beatings was involved in any of the six previous incidents.

Collie, a downtown St. Paul resident who previously lived for a year in downtown Minneapolis, said he won't let the assault scare him away from downtown.

"A couple people have told me that they are worried about downtown, but my response is that I lived there for a year, and didn't feel unsafe," he said. "It's not as if I could have done anything different to prevent this sort of thing from occurring, there's nothing I can do to change it, so there's no reason to change how I go about my day."

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