Charges, other actions from downtown brawl

Monday, March 23, 2015

The tally on the St. Patrick’s Day brawl in downtown Minneapolis is one adult charged, one case deferred, one headed to the city attorney’s office and two cases in the juvenile justice system, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Monday.

Elijah Morgan-Hamilton, 21, of New Hope was charged with second-degree riot in one of the incidents from the fracas that began the evening of March 17 when many young people rode the free buses downtown. A man was arrested with Morgan-Hamilton on suspicion of possessing cocaine, but that case has been deferred, pending lab tests on the substance in his possession. A 16-year-old girl was arrested on suspicion of riot and a 15-year-old boy on suspicion of assault, but their cases are in the juvenile system and, by law, cannot be discussed further.

“At the moment, these are all the cases we have at the county attorney’s office,” Freeman said. “We have dealt with them as firmly as the law allows and if police are able to bring us more cases after further investigation, we will certainly look at charging them as well. We want our young people to enjoy all of the great events that downtown has to offer, but they have to behave appropriately or they will pay the price.”

About 7:40 p.m. that evening, police saw a large number of young people at Sixth Street and Nicollet Mall, according to the criminal complaint. Fights would break out and the crowd would run toward it, the complaint states. In this instance, many of them ran one direction, but Morgan-Hamilton and another person ran a different direction. Morgan-Hamilton had a knife in his hand as he ran. He dropped the knife and police arrested him.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office handles only felony adult cases and all juvenile crime cases. The various city attorneys throughout the county handle misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors and one of the adult cases brought to the county will be referred to the Minneapolis City Attorney because the incident did not rise to the level of a felony offense.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)