MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 32-year-old Minneapolis man, who was bailed out of jail by the Minnesota Freedom Fund in July after an alleged assault, is accused in another assault that left the victim with a traumatic brain injury.
According to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, Lionel Timms faces one felony count of third-degree assault — causing substantial bodily harm — in connection to the Aug. 14 incident.
The morning of the incident, Timms allegedly punched and kicked a victim in an alley located on the 300 block of Hennepin Avenue East. Witnesses reported seeing the victim being kicked while on the ground. Timms was arrested in the early afternoon after the report of a suspicious person, the complaint said.
The victim is being treated at Hennepin Healthcare for a traumatic brain injury, a fractured skull and a brain bleed. The victim also needed stitches.
In a statement released Wednesday, the Minnesota Freedom Fund said it is “deeply saddened and troubled” by the arrest of Timms in connection to the August assault of a “popular and well-respected member of our community.”
According to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, Timms’ attorney requested bail on July 27, two weeks after Timms was detained. According to Hennepin County, Timms was accused of assaulting a person on a bus in Bloomington on July 11, and faces an identical felony assault charge in that case.
“We paid his bail after working to first ensure that Mr. Timms would be provided with housing and other necessary support as Mr. Timms requested,” the Minnesota Freedom Fund said. “Delays in the government’s processing of his release prevented him from receiving that assistance, setting the stage for the subsequent tragedy.”
The Minnesota Freedom Fund says the criminal justice system failed in this case, but it “didn’t do enough to mitigate that damage” by giving Timms the support he needed. The nonprofit says it will improve procedures for supporting those it bails out of jail.
Timms is in custody and, if convicted, could face up to five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine for the assault charge. He is due in court on Sept. 15.
The northeast Minneapolis victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, is a manager at the nearby Mac’s Industrial Sports Bar. A GoFundMe has been set up to cover medical bills and lost wages. The fund has already raised more than $37,000 as of Wednesday evening, which is $2,000 more than the fundraising goal.
The organizer says the extra money will be donated to the Children’s Cancer Research Fund.