MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A local television news anchor was assaulted on Tuesday morning at a light rail train station in Minneapolis.
KSTP-TV anchor Matt Belanger was struck near the eye with a rock or a small piece of concrete at the Nicollet Mall station, at about 8:50 a.m., according to KSTP management. He was waiting for a green line train to work.
The attack appears to have been random and unprovoked, and Belanger was treated at Hennepin Healthcare for an injury to his left eye. KSTP confirmed that he is recovering at home and is expected to make a full recovery.
Metro Transit Police told the Star Tribune a 39-year-old Minneapolis man was arrested and booked into the Hennepin County Jail on suspicion of second-degree assault, after allegedly fleeing the scene.
This marks the second high-profile assault at a Twin Cities light rail platform in recent weeks, after a woman was kicked in the head at a stop in St. Paul.
On Tuesday afternoon State Rep. Jon Koznick (R-Lakeville) released a statement in response to the incident:
“My thoughts are with the victim of this brutal assault and I pray that they make a speedy recovery. Today’s attack is a grim reminder that our transit system is in crisis as crime continues to grow and remains an issue, even during COVID orders. Transit riders should not fear being victimized when they use public transportation. That is why I will continue to be a strong advocate for strengthening safety and security at Metro Transit. It is time for the House and Senate to work together and take action towards ensuring a better transit rider experience for all Minnesotans.”
Koznick says he will offer an amendment during Thursday’s floor session to “address transit safety and security.”