Two men have been charged with first-degree aggravated robbery in the video-recorded assault of an elderly woman at a south Minneapolis transit center that investigators called "appalling."
Charges say Wesley N. Martin, 21, of Blaine, and Deondre R. Jackson, 20, of Minneapolis, participated in the assault on Feb. 12 that was posted on Facebook the next day, according to the allegations filed Tuesday.
A court filing Tuesday said the victim was heard on the video yelling, "Help me!" yet "there are many people in the shelter who do nothing."
"The video is appalling," transit police officer Michael Leubner wrote in the complaint.
According to charges:
Police reviewed surveillance footage from the shelter, which showed the victim sitting on a bench inside the Chicago-Lake Transit Center.
Martin, Jackson and an unnamed accomplice approach the woman and yell at her. She ignores them at first, then tries to get up and is repeatedly shoved back onto the bench.
Martin steals a liquor bottle from the woman's jacket. When a bystander tries to intervene, Martin pushes her aside. He then gropes the victim, who tries to escape as the two hold and take her jacket.
Jackson can be seen holding a cellphone "and records the brutalization of victim," the complaint read. Martin groped her as she lay on the ground while Jackson used his phone to get a close-up of her face.
"Jackson can be heard on the video yelling racial epithets about Victim and commenting that 'that lady like a hundred years old,' " the charges read.
An older man stepped in and pushed Martin away. Martin and the man fight, with Martin kicking and punching the man in the face while he's down.
Jackson records the fight while the unnamed accomplice holds the woman to the ground and tears her shirt off.
Records show Martin is on probation for an assault conviction from last month. Jackson has 2016 convictions for robbery and terroristic threats.
Prosecutors said they will seek a stiffer sentence than called for under the state guidelines, citing the victim's age and vulnerability, the "particular cruelty" of the offense and as well as the video recording.
Both remain jailed with court dates pending.
Randy Furst • 612-673-4224 Twitter: @randyfurst