Robbery victims targeted for cellphones, beaten in downtown Minneapolis


WARNING: The video above is graphic. Provided by the Minneapolis Police Department, showing the assault that happened near Target Field on Aug. 3.

UPDATE ON STORY: Robbery incidents in downtown Minneapolis result in 20 arrests, 18 charges

The Minneapolis Police Department has arrested more than a dozen suspects involved in crime ring that focused on robbing cellphones from intoxicated people and then beating the victims.

According to a report provided by Minneapolis police spokesperson John Elder, a three-day sweep conducted two weeks ago ended with police arresting 16 people between the ages of 13 and 25. The suspects are seen on surveillance video punching, kicking and riding over one man with a bike.

The robberies occurred near Hennepin, First and Second avenues, between Third and Sixth streets, and happened between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m.

The suspects were mostly boys and men, with a female sometimes present. They would 'finesse' the victim -- looking for an easy target, such as someone who was intoxicated and alone, looking at their cellphone at times. Elder said half of the assailants are juveniles.

One of the incidents happened on Aug. 3 near Target Field. According to the criminal complaint, the footage shows approximately 12 males attempting to take a cellphone from a male victim, viciously beating him. The suspects are seen ripping the vicitim's shoes and pants off and then going through his pockets. The victim is noted to be punched and kicked in the head several times throughout the altercation. At one point, the complaint states the victim is thrown to the ground -- left motionless -- then repeatedly jumped on, hit with planting pots and ridden over with a bicycle. Once police arrived, the victim and all suspects involved are gone.

Then on Sept. 6, after further investigation, officers recognized one of the assailants from the video and arrested him. He is identified as Boris Likuwa Lusumbo, 20. The video shows Lusumbo running toward the victim along with other attackers after the victim was struck by another attacker. He was seen picking up something off the ground that the victim dropped and walked away with it. Lusumbo admitted it was him in the video to police. He has been charged with first-degree aggravated robbery and faces up to 20 years in prison for the crime, if convicted.

In another incident, on Aug. 17, a man stated to police he was out with friends at a bar in downtown Minneapolis when he was robbed and assaulted. He claimed he didn't remember much of the incident because he lost consciousness. According to the criminal complaint, the victim said he was standing on a corner using his phone when a group surrounded him and tried to take his wallet. He said he lost his iPhone and his wallet, which contained his driver's license, debit card, keys and $100 in cash. He also was notified by his bank that $220 was withdrawn at an ATM using his debit card. He was left motionless by the group and was eventally assisted to his feet by bystanders.

Minneapolis police identified one of the suspects in the video as Adrian Jamal Cooper, 25. Cooper was interviewed by police and matched someone on video in the Aug. 3 Target Field incident. He at first denied involvement in the incident and further denied any wrongdoing. He stated there was a group of people downtown that night and said it escalated 'all over a phone.' He said he didn't know the victim, but claimed the victim called him out by name. Cooper acknowledged to authorities he got his 'licks' in on the victim and said the victim was not that strong. He admitted to hitting the victim for calling him a 'b****.'

On Aug. 29, another suspect was located from that incident, identified as Antonio Kolli Morrow, 21. Morrow said he did not know any of the individuals involved in the Target Field incident. He did admit to police he took the victim's wallet after it was taken from him, according to the complaint. Morrow is seen on video taking the item from a suspect who took it from the victim. He then looks at the item and places it in his pocket. The complaint states Morrow is currently in custody on a first-degree aggravated robbery charge. He faces up to 20 years in prison for the crime, if convicted.

Further examination of the surveillance video at Target Field led to another arrest. Jamar Shamar Robinson, 20, has been charged with first degree aggravated robbery and third-degree riot. The complaint states Robinson was identified through surveillance video. Robinson admitted it was him but denied hitting the victim. He also said he did not steal anything from the vicitim, but surveillance video showed the 20-year-old striking the victim twice and stuffing something in his pocket. He also is seen standing over the victim while others assault the man. The complaint states Robinson is seen laughig and running while clutching an item. He faces up to 21 years in prison, if convicted.

All suspects arrested have bail set for $100,000 each.

According to Elder, robbery is up 46% in downtown Minneapolis from last year. In a three-week period in August, there were 47 robberies, and the prize each time was a smartphone.