Robbery victims targeted for cellphones, beaten in downtown Minneapolis

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 approxiamtely 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 arrive, 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.
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