MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The familiar voice of WCCO’s morning radio has long been an avid jogger. But his daily routine was recently interrupted by an aggravated robbery that sent him to the hospital.
“I think the scariest thing was that they didn’t say anything,” said 830 WCCO morning news anchor Steve Murphy, recalling last week’s incident.
Murphy was on his way to work last Thursday and was running the mile between his south Minneapolis home and the bus stop. He was just a few blocks away from Chicago Avenue and 52nd Street when he spotted trouble.
“I noticed that there was an older model, white SUV traveling very slowly near me, and I felt suspicious, so I changed my route,” he said.
But it didn’t matter. The men inside the SUV circled around the block and discovered Murphy near the corner of 53rd and 13th Avenue South.
He was thrown facedown onto the sidewalk by one of the young men and his arms were held behind him.
Murphy recalls being choked and his face scraping against the sidewalk. The men then grabbed his wallet and left him on the ground.
“I stumbled but was able to make it to the safe haven, as I considered it, the bus. My driver then said we go right past HCMC, and I insist that you go to the hospital,” Murphy said.
At the hospital, Murphy was treated for his cuts and bruises and remained off the air while he regained his voice.
As one who’s read far too many stories of crime victims, he’s now also felt the terror of being attacked. He says that gives him a greater sense of compassion for the pain and suffering that victims feel.
Despite the attack, Murphy wants to reassure his concerned neighbors that he considers it a random and freak attack.
“It’s a safe neighborhood, still a safe neighborhood,” he said. “Very unsafe time of night to be out by yourself.”
Murphy believes that at least one of three men arrested in Anoka County last Thursday for a similar aggravated robbery is the same person who attacked him.
He has since learned the men used his credit card to pay for fuel at a nearby south Minneapolis gas station. Surveillance video is likely to show that transaction.
Murphy says he recognized one of the men when their mug shots were published in the weekend newspapers. He will be meeting with Minneapolis police investigators in the hopes of finding those responsible for his attack.