A security guard just fired from a downtown Minneapolis nightspot tied up a manager at gunpoint, knocked her unconscious and made off with $24,000 from the office safe, according to federal authorities.
Hakeem A. Coles, 24, of St. Louis Park, was indicted in federal court in Minneapolis last week in connection with the Aug. 17 robbery of Cowboy Jack's in the Warehouse District.
Coles is currently jailed in New Orleans following his arrest in mid-September on charges in Jefferson Parish of illegal weapons possession, having fraudulent identification, illicit drug possession and resisting an officer.
At the time of the Cowboy Jack's robbery, Coles had a robbery from 2012 on his record and was under supervised probation for stabbing, punching and robbing a man in north Minneapolis during a marijuana purchase in February 2018.
Coles pleaded guilty, and Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu set aside a nearly six-year sentence in August 2018 that would have had him in prison until late 2021. Instead, Chu sentenced Coles to a year in the county workhouse and three years' probation. With credit for time in jail, he was freed this spring.
That punishment was a prosecution-recommended downward departure from state sentencing guidelines. Chu agreed that Coles was agreeable to treatment and had accepted responsibility for the crime.
According to the criminal complaint filed in the latest allegations against Coles:
The general manager unlocked the door about 9:10 on a Saturday morning for Coles, who said he wanted to retrieve his cellphone that he left the night before.
The two went in the office, where he handed the general manager a children's backpack and said, "Fill the bag with money. I'm not [expletive] around."
Coles pulled a short-barrelled shotgun from his pants, pumped it and pointed it at her as she pulled the money out of the safe.
He then ordered the general manager to her knees as she pleaded for her life and explained that recent knee surgery made her unable to obey him.
She sat on the floor while Coles tied her hands behind her back with a phone charging cord. Video surveillance footage showed Coles, at 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighing well over 300 pounds, "wind up with his right hand and violently and with great force punch [the general manager] in her right ear ... causing her to be knocked unconscious," the indictment read.
Coles left the office, and the general manager soon got up, freed herself and called 911.
The general manager said Coles, who had worked security at other nearby nightspots and was hired at Cowboy Jack's a couple of weeks before the robbery, was found sleeping in the bar's back staircase that night. He was then given $85 for the previous night's work and told by management that he was fired.
Coles' troubles with the law stretch back to at least May 2012, when he was 16 years old. He and others robbed a man at the Franklin Avenue light rail station in Minneapolis. He was found guilty in juvenile court.
Also still pending are cases in which he's charged with thefts this past summer involving several thousand dollars' worth of merchandise from Target stores in Coon Rapids, Minnetonka, Eden Prairie and Forest Lake.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482