Three charges against man who struck teenagers in crosswalk

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

A St. Paul man was charged with two counts of criminal vehicular operation for hitting two teenage pedestrians in a crosswalk Sept. 30, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday.

Steven Ross, 48, is also charged with simple robbery. He is expected to make his first court appearance Thursday.

According to the complaint, about 2:15 p.m. Monday, police were alerted to a car theft at 26th St. S. and 17th Ave. S. involving Ross who stole a vehicle from a man. The man was in the driver’s seat of a Toyota Rav 4 when Ross walked up to the SUV and smashed the window with his head. Ross climbed in while the driver attempted to retrieve the keys which were still in the ignition. Ross was able to take the keys from the man after a brief struggle between the two and then drive away recklessly, smashing into multiple parked cars in the process.

Ross sped down 17th Avenue, ran through a red light, and at the intersection of Lake Street and 17th Avenue violently struck two pedestrians in the crosswalk. The two victims were hit with such force that they were launched into the air, the complaints states.

The young woman, 19, was flung into a bakery window frame on the corner of the street, landing on the sidewalk unconscious. The 14-year-old boy with her went through the glass window of the bakery, landing inside the building. The stolen SUV spun around, coming to a stop on the sidewalk before Ross accelerated east on Lake Street, nearly hitting the woman a second time, the complaint continues.

Ross ended up hitting a police car on Lake Street and the officer then pursued him briefly before Ross crashed into a light pole near Lake Street and 20th Avenue. Officers removed Ross from the RAV 4 after its engine started on fire. Ross later told police he used crack and marijuana, and also drank alcohol that day, the complaint states.

The 19-year-old woman suffered a brain injury and was taken to the hospital for surgery. The 14-year-old boy suffered multiple broken bones and lacerations. Both are being treated for their injuries in the hospital.

Ross is in the hospital being treated for his injuries under the supervision of police and is currently in custody.

Criminal complaint (PDF)