7 juveniles charged in connection to St. Paul assault, theft of vehicle with kids inside

Seven juveniles have been charged in connection to a weekend incident where a man was assaulted and his vehicle stolen while his children were still inside, according to a spokesperson from the Ramsey County Attorney's Office.

The spokesperson said the seven juveniles were charged with first-degree aggravated robbery and two counts of kidnapping.

Four of those charged were 16 years old, while the others were 15. The juvenile petitions of the 15-year-olds have not been released because of their age.

According to the four petitions that were released, officers were called just after 2 p.m. Sunday to the 500 block of Virginia Street on a report of a robbery and kidnapping.

When police arrived, they met with a man who said he was robbed while he was loading his children in his car.

The man told police he was kicked and punched while on the ground, and that some of the suspects went through his pocket and took his wallet, according to the petitions.

Carjacking with 2 children inside vehicle stuns St. Paul man

KSTP was able to speak with the man who was robbed.

"I just remember getting the kids in the van and all of a sudden one guy clotheslined me across my throat," the man, who only wished to go by Alex, said. "I went down and several people were then kicking and punching me and stole my wallet and keys and then drove off with my kids inside."

The petitions go on to say that one of the suspects then got into Alex's van, which had his two children inside, and drove off. The suspect then got out of the van and got into one of the two cars parked nearby.

"The assault was traumatic, but nothing compared to seeing the van drive off with my kids inside," Alex said.  "I am very grateful to St. Paul police for their quick response."

A while later, a St. Paul police officer who was working off duty at the Target on University Avenue and who had heard about the robbery saw five juveniles walk into the store. A few minutes later, another group of five juveniles walked into the store.

The petitions say the officer saw them select a number of gift cards and attempt to check out using the self-checkout register.

When the officer approached one of the teens, according to the petitions, he saw the suspect's name on one of the cards.

As the officer went to arrest the boy, the others fled on foot. The officer was able to call for assistance, and a number of others were taken into custody.