Whatever happened to the downtown Minneapolis mobs that beat people senselessly?
McCarty said increased downtown patrols will continue indefinitely.
The media tells you about bad things when they happen, but oftentimes you don't hear from us when they stop happening.
With that observation in mind, this morning we phoned Sergeant Steve McCarty of the Minneapolis Police Department to get his take on why the string of mob beatings that rocked downtown Minneapolis between early February 3 and March 31 has seemingly come to an end.
During that period, seven sudden, random downtown mob attacks were reported to police, some resulting in life-changing injuries to victims. Other beatings reportedly occurred without police being notified. But since then? It's been all quiet on the Nicollet Mall front.
Of course, since March 31, there's been no shortage of violence downtown, but there haven't been attacks featuring the hallmarks of the Minneapolis Mobs. Those attacks characteristically involved a small group breaking off from a larger group of young people, with the small group blitzkrieging unsuspecting victims with punches and kicks before fleeing on foot.
McCarty confirmed that police don't believe there have been any assaults connected with the Minneapolis Mobs since the beginning of April. He said he doesn't know of any additional arrests being made in connection with the assaults that took place in February and March, but instead attributed the end of the mob's (or mobs') reign of terror to police's increased vigilance and pedestrians' greater awareness of their surroundings.
Early last month, police announced they'd be increasing nighttime patrols downtown in hopes of preventing another mob attack, and thus far, it appears that effort has paid off.
Nicollet Mall, site of four mob attacks, was a much safer place in April than it was in February or March.
"We've increased patrols and undercover officers, and we're working closely with security guards," McCarty said. In particular, police have been working to "get curfew violators off the streets."
Minneapolis police have also been making an effort to interface with security guards working at private businesses downtown.
"We have a radio system that [guards] are tied into, they hear calls that we hear -- 'there's a suspect running around,'" McCarty said.
Of course, with most of the assailants still on the loose -- to the best of McCarty's knowledge, police have still only arrested one adult and several juveniles in connection with the attacks, some of which reportedly involved as many as 20 suspects -- it's too soon to conclude that the Minneapolis Mobs are gone for good. But in this case, a month of no news is definitely good news.
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-- Minneapolis mob beatings: With downtown on edge, police increase patrols [MAP]
-- Minneapolis flash mob beatings: Victim details "sudden" attack on Saturday night, March 31
-- Minneapolis flash mob beatings: Police want earlier downtown curfew
-- Minneapolis flash mob beatings: Victim's mother details St. Patrick's Day attack
-- Downtown Minneapolis rocked by six violent "flash mob" attacks during last two months
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