A 21-year-old man has been sentenced to a 30-day term for hitting and critically injuring a 14-year-old boy and slightly injuring two other teenagers while doing tire-squealing burnouts in downtown Minneapolis nearly two years ago.
Markques A. Floyd of Little Canada was sentenced Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court after pleading guilty to felony criminal vehicular operation in connection with the late-night incident on May 21, 2021, when "a large group of hot-rodders" gathered near N. Border and 3rd avenues, the criminal complaint read.
Floyd will serve his time on electronic home monitoring. Judge Shereen Askalani also ordered him to stay away from his victims and "not even to extend apology," said Nicholas Kimball, spokesman for the County Attorney's Office. Kimball said that task can be handled by the state.
Soon after he was charged, Floyd told the Star Tribune, "I sincerely apologize and hope the 14-year-old is OK." The complaint did not identify any of the injured teens.
Floyd was sentenced under what is called a stay of imposition. That means the conviction would be reduced to a misdemeanor if he abides by his sentence and terms of his three years' probation.
At the time he was doing "donuts," Floyd was driving with a license that had been suspended since Jan. 12, 2021, the state Department of Public Safety said.
According to the complaint:
Police were alerted about 11:40 p.m. that someone had been hit in an area where "hot-rodders often gather by the hundreds with their vehicles to conduct burnouts and street races."
The victim was unconscious and had a large cut on his head. Paramedics took the critically injured teen to a hospital, where doctors said he had suffered a traumatic brain injury and a broken bone above his left eye. Two 17-year-olds also were struck, but both declined medical attention for minor leg pain.
Witnesses said the driver of the 2003 Infiniti G35 was doing burnouts in the middle of the road "by burning out his tires and driving in a circle" before losing control and striking a crowd of spectators. Floyd reportedly abandoned his vehicle and ran away.
In an interview soon afterward with police, Floyd said he ran because the crowd was growing aggressive.
The physical risk of watching the high-revving vehicles up close in Minneapolis soon proved to be more than being run over. During the first weekend in June 2021, two people in their late teens were fatally shot by stray gunfire while at separate gatherings in Minneapolis.
Vanessa Jensen, 19, was killed June 5 in the 2200 block of N. 2nd Street when two hot-rodders opened fire on each other during a dispute.
The following day, Nicholas Enger, 17, died when he was shot while watching street racing on E. Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue. Both incidents remain unsolved.