Edina, Mpls. Residents Upset about Crime Alert Delay Following 3 Attacks

Posted at: 04/15/2014 12:03 PM
Updated at: 04/16/2014 7:27 AM
By: Beth McDonough

Three violent attacks in the month of March in Edina and Southwest Minneapolis has residents on high alert, and they want to know why they're just now hearing about them.

Folks gathered at the Armatage Community Center on Tuesday to get answers. There were more people than there were seats at the neighborhood meeting.

"Why did it take 3-4 weeks for us to be notified?" asked Carol Hayes. The answer from Inspector Todd Loining of the Minneapolis Police Department shocked the room into silence.

"When the incident occurred, I was on vacation, so yes, there was a delay," Loining said.

The first attack happened on March 16 near Xerxes Avenue and 56th Street. The second happened nearly two weeks later on March 28.

"Beaten, kicked, stomped, stabbed, almost dying -- that's enough for me," said one of the victims. His face was covered for privacy, his wounds covered for healing. 

A third ambush happened on March 30 at Southdale Mall in Edina. That's when police finally issued a crime alert.

"What happened is reprehensible; it's frightening. It's exceedingly rare," Adam Tomczik of the Hennepin County Attorney's Office said.

Authorities caught up with three teenage suspects: one is 13 years old, another 16 years old and a third has been identified as 18-year-old Navarr Ross.

His mother, Marlene Wright, talked with KSTP reporter Beth McDonough.

"My son has had problems in the past," she said. "This particular time, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

The 16- and 18-year-olds will be tried as adults for robbery and assault, which means if convicted, the punishment is more severe.

Authorities don't believe the crimes are gang related.

Meanwhile, a personal safety workshop will be held at the Armatage Community Center on April 21.

Watch the news conference in KSTP's Interactive Web Center.