Stumbling into the New Year

Guess who loses this game of Chicken?

It was just an hour before 2008 in the Warehouse District and Dillon Hogan really wanted to get on the light rail train. There was only one problem: It was already leaving the station. Undiscouraged, Hogan jumped into the moving train's path and brought it to a screeching halt, according to a criminal complaint.

His objective achieved, Hogan ran to the platform—briefly slipping and falling along the way—in anticipation of boarding. But the train lurched into motion again. As it left him in the cold, Hogan banged against the exterior with his fists. He then stumbled away from the train and fell against a sign on the platform.

Taking it all in a few paces away was a pair of transit cops. They approached Hogan and asked him for ID. But Hogan, who was "very intoxicated" according to the cops, wasn't looking for conversation. Instead, he reared back and punched one of the officers in the shoulder. Then he ran off.

Hogan didn't get very far, though. He rang in the new year in police custody. —Jonathan Kaminsky

Let's Twister Again

Clean out your basement and ready your crank radio: The annual "tornadic risk assessment" is out and we're on it!

Both of the twin cities made the "Top Twenty Tornado-Prone Cities" list: Minneapolis came in 12th, and St. Paul eked in at 18. Which, apparently, means that in order for a twister to find its way from one city to the other, it would first have to wind through Cincinnati, South Bend, Wichita, Lincoln, and Houston.

Skeptical? Tell it to cursed Twin Cities architect Willard Thorson—designer of Har Mar Mall and Apache Plaza. Both shopping centers were hit by tornados in the '80s and that guy was habitually looking over his shoulder for years. The "Har Mar Tornado," as it has come to be known, caused $47 million in damage. —Jeff Severns Guntzel

Out of Gas

Saddam Samaan's days of selling gas in St. Paul are over. Last week, the City Council unanimously rejected an appeal from the owner of West 7th Market.

The city initially denied Samaan's applications for four retail licenses in July because he failed to provide the proper paperwork. But it was Samaan's actions following that decision that doomed his pumps.

Despite failing to obtain the proper license, Samaan sold gas to city employees on eight different occasions during the summer and fall, according to a report filed by an administrative law judge last month. On September 4, for example, a St. Paul inspector bought $36 worth of gas at West 7th Market.

Samaan likely wasn't helped by his rap sheet: In 2004 he was convicted of fifth degree criminal sexual conduct. His offense? Groping a customer at the Lakeville Amoco station where he worked at the time. —Paul Demko

Black on Black Crime

A black man and woman were arrested for being part of a group of seven that beat up a man on a bus last week in Minneapolis. Their stated reason for the assault, according to a criminal complaint: He was African.

According to Quantina Marie Washington's statement, she hit the victim several times "because he was African and she and her friends dislike Africans because they think they are better than everyone else."

In the lead up to the beat-down, the perpetrators told the victim they were going to beat his "African ass," and were calling him an "African bitch," according to the complaint.

The victim suffered a headache in the attack. The two perps were arrested the following day, when the victim was again on the same bus with them and called the cops. They were charged with rioting, assault, and disorderly conduct. —Jonathan Kaminsky

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