Minneapolis man charged with third-degree assault


A Minneapolis man has been charged with third-degree assault for injuring a man near the Nicollet light rail platform, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday.

Vennie Williams, 39, also faces harassment charges because his attack was motivated by bias against what he believed the man’s sexual orientation to be. He is scheduled to make his first appearance May 18.

According to the criminal complaint, on May 12, Metro Transit Police responded to 4th Street and Marquette Avenue in Minneapolis where the victim told officers that a man he did not know, Vennie Williams, threw an object at him as he was walking across the Nicollet light rail platform. The object struck the victim directly in the left eye.

The victim went to the Hennepin County Medical Center and found he suffered a corneal and ocular abrasion, which could cause permanent damage.

Surveillance footage showed the assault clearly. Metro Transit police found Williams soon after near 6th Street and Marquette Avenue, and the victim later positively identified Williams as the assailant, the complaint continues.

Williams was arrested, and while in the back of the squad car, began speaking. Williams indicated that one of the reasons he attacked the victim was that he thought the victim was homosexual, the complaint states.

Criminal Complaint complaint against Williams (PDF)