Mark Andrew bloodied by violent iPhone robbers at Mall of America [UPDATE]
|Mark Andrew physically resisted a robbery attempt at the MOA.|
According to the Star Tribune, Mark Andrew, the runner-up to Betsy Hodges in November's Minneapolis mayoral election, was sitting by himself at a Mall of America Starbucks around 5:30 p.m. yesterday when someone grabbed his iPhone off the table and headed for the door.
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Andrew gave chase, only to be tackled as he exited the Starbucks by two young women -- one a teenager, it was later discovered -- apparently working in tandem with the robber.
Andrews told the Strib one of the women beat him over the head with a billy club, opening a gash that later required nine stitches. He said they told him, "We're going to kill you! We're going to kill you!" Nonetheless, Andrew, without the help of any other customers at the Starbucks -- "they were too afraid," he told the Strib, though witnesses did later confirm his version of events -- managed to physically restrain one of them. The attackers were still there when police arrived.
Though the robber apparently got away, he dropped Andrew's phone during the chaos. It was later returned to its rightful owner.
"I was targeted because the phone was out and I'm 63 years old, and I'm sure they thought that I was easy pickins," Andrew told the Strib. "I'm not going to let someone take my phone... I'm not going to let that pass. They thought they wouldn't get chased."
Compare Andrew's response to mine when I was confronted with a similar situation earlier this month. Andrew emerged with all his possessions and was brave enough to put his wellbeing on the line in a physical altercation with criminals, but he was beaten in the head with a club and is at least nine stitches worse off. Was it worth it?
The Strib report concludes with this curious passage about Andrew's day-after response to the incident:
As Andrew walked back into his south Minneapolis home, he recalled, he lifted his fist in the air and told his adult children, "We won.":::: UPDATE ::::
He vowed to stay involved in the case.
"They're damaged kids, and maybe they're too far gone, but I think there's redemption for everybody," said Andrew. "So we'll try to find a way for them to get in a place where they can turn their lives around."
One of the young women who allegedly beat Andrew -- 18-year-old Brooklyn Park resident Letaija Shapree Cutler-Cain -- has been charged with two felony counts of aggravated robbery and one count of felony assault. Prosecutors have until Monday to charge the juvenile suspect, and the suspect who actually ran off with Andrew's phone hasn't been identified.
According to the charges, Andrew was "bleeding profusely" from his head and mouth when officers arrived at the scene. Cutler-Cain allegedly gouged his face with her fingernails while the juvenile girl beat Andrew with a baton, but he was nonetheless able to restrain one of them until police arrived.
"During a subsequent Miranda prefaced interview, [Cutler-Cain] acknowledged that she and [the two other suspects] had checked the Starbucks coffee shop several times that afternoon in order to determine if it was 'sweet,'" the charges say. "When asked to explain further what this characterization meant, [Cutler-Cain] indicated that they were determining whether the shop would provide an opportunity to steal property from customers."
Here's the entire charging document:
And here's Cutler-Cain's mugshot:
"People ought to be able to sit and have a cup of coffee without fear of assault," Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a news release. "These two will be charged and prosecuted to the absolute fullest extent of the law."
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.