MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two men face charges in connection to weekend violence against police officers who were trying to respond to a wounded persons call in downtown Minneapolis.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday that 21-year-old Robert Ford and 39-year-old Christopher Smith are each charged with one count of fourth-degree assault against a peace officer stemming from unrest early Sunday morning at the intersection of Hennepin Avenue and 5th Street North. Ford also faces an additional charge of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.
According to the criminal complaints, police responded to the area to disperse the crowd so that an ambulance could take an injured person to the hospital. The Star Tribune reports that there was a stabbing in the area around bar close. Two victims were found with head wounds.
While police were working to disperse the crowd, Ford refused to make way for the ambulance. After an officer escorted him away, Ford raised the stick he was carrying and struck the officer in the head, the complaint states. The officer had trouble getting back on his feet and was brought to a nearby hospital for evaluation. Other officers at the scene arrested Ford.
As police were attempting to take someone into custody amid the unrest, Smith sprayed four to five officers at the scene with mace. Smith ran off immediately after, but officers later caught him. According to the complaint, he admitted to macing the officers and said he’d do it again.
If convicted of the fourth-degree assault charge, each man faces a maximum penalty of up to three years in prison and/or a $6,000 fine. Ford faces another seven years behind bars for second-degree assault charge.