January 11, 2017 10:10 PM
The five teenaged males were arrested Tuesday and four of them were charged Wednesday with gross misdemeanor rioting.
St. Paul Police say the four were charged after their involvement in a major brawl in the food court at Town Square, 445 Minnesota Street, just before noon Tuesday.
Witnesses told police there were at least 20 teenagers involved and some of them started throwing chairs at each other while people eating at the food court scrambled for safety. Police say no one was seriously injured.
One person told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he saw the end of the chaos.
"I was walking back to work through the skyway when I saw two young men bolt from a group and start running very fast and then I saw two police officers come around the corner chasing after them," said Patrick Connolly.
Connolly said he has witnessed an increase in criminal activity in the downtown skyways lately and that some people who work in the area feel a bit uneasy "there is no doubt that there is more criminal stuff happening during the day and I think there needs to be something done to combat the chronic public safety issue in downtown with a long-term solution."
St. Paul Police say they are teaming up with Metro Transit Police to increase the presence of police in the downtown area with more patrols near the skyways and the light rail transit platform.
"Some of it will be noticeable with more uniformed officers on patrol and some of it you will not be able to see, by design, but it is important to note that overall crime in downtown is down and that it is a very safe place to be," said St. Paul Police spokesperson, Steve Linders.
Brent Palm & Jay Kolls
Updated: January 11, 2017 10:10 PM
Created: January 11, 2017 07:24 PM
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