MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Six people are now facing assault and disorderly conduct charges after police say they attacked a pedal pub with water balloons and squirt guns.
It happened at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday in downtown Minneapolis. The aftermath of the attack was captured on cell phone video.
Passengers who were drenched got off the pedal pub and helped subdue their attackers until Minneapolis Police officers arrived. The owners of Pedal Pub say they noticed a posting on social media about an organized attack on the pilots or drivers of their vehicles.
It started online and quickly turned into an event that landed six people between the ages of 24 and 42 behind bars.
“We got wind of it about 7, 7:30 in the morning,” Lisa Staplin, a city manager with Pedal Pub, said.
Staplin said a posting on the Facebook group page. “I hate Pedal Pubs” tipped her off to what could happen when her 11 pedal pubs hit Twin Cities streets Saturday afternoon.
“The owners and I were conversing about what we wanted to do with what we saw on the hater Facebook page,” Staplin said.
The posting instructed people to meet in Loring Park at 1 p.m.
Wearing Mad Max costumes, the post called for a bicycle raid on the pedal pub with squirt guns and a ton of water balloons.
“We went there and scoped it out a little bit at one. We saw the park police were there and nobody came and it got to be mid-afternoon and we thought maybe the whole thing would just blow over,” Staplin said.
But it didn’t. Pedal pubs out for the evening were hit with a barrage of water-filled balloons.
“Just before 6:30 that one got hit and then two minutes later another got hit,” Staplin said.
According to Staplin, video from the first attack shows the pilot, Destiny, was blinded by a blast from a high-powered water gun.
“They stopped her in the middle of the street they blasted her directly in the face and they got a couple of other people and this is all happening in the street,” Staplin said.
It was passengers who after getting wet went after their attackers. There was a tussle and at least two of the passengers told their attackers they were police officers.
Something Staplin says she knows nothing about.
“To my knowledge they were just another group of riders that were out for the afternoon,” Staplin said.
WCCO spoke with the Chief Eric Gieseke from the Burnsville Police Department, who said he was made aware that several of his officers were on that pedal pub.
Chief Gieseke says they were off duty and were attacked. They held their attackers down until Minneapolis officers arrived.
The chief has asked the Minneapolis Police Department to conduct a full investigation into the matter to include a good look at all the video tape of the incident.
The pedal pub owners and the police hope the actions taken Saturday, arresting 6 people on charges of assault to terrorist threats, which is a felony, is enough to keep it from happening again.