Man charged in assault of KSTP anchor Matt Belanger on light rail platform

Vennie Jerome Williams. Photo: Hennepin County Sheriff's Office. Vennie Jerome Williams.

Updated: May 15, 2020 05:28 PM
Created: May 15, 2020 04:49 PM

A man has been charged in the assault of KSTP anchor Matt Belanger.

Vennie Jerome Williams, 39, was charged with third-degree assault and harassment with intent to injure in an assault that occurred on Tuesday.


According to the criminal complaint, officers responded to Fourth Street and Marquette Avenue near the Nicollet Avenue light rail platform. There, officers met with Belanger who stated that while walking across the Nicollet Avenue light rail platform, a person he did not know suddenly cocked his right arm back and threw what he thought was a rock directly at him. Matt was about 3 feet away when the object was thrown and it struck him in the left eye.

Belanger went to Hennepin County Medical Center where he learned that he had suffered a corneal and ocular abrasion, which could lead to permanent damage to his eye.

Officers reviewed surveillance footage of the incident and were able to identify the alleged assailant, who was found near Sixth Street S. and Marquette Avenue. According to the complaint, Belanger was transported to the area and he positively identified Williams as the attacker.

Williams is currently in custody, he is scheduled to appear in court Monday on the charges. 

More from KSTP:

KSTP Anchor Matt Belanger assaulted on light rail platform, at home recovering

KSTP's Matt Belanger thanks viewers for support after light rail assault

Copyright 2020 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

Comment on Facebook

LIVE COVERAGE: KSTP is tracking the latest on the situation in the Twin Cities amid unrest

UPDATE: Details of curfew extensions in Twin Cities metro

LIVE VIDEO: Chopper footage shows law enforcement clearing people off I-35W

Looking for ways to help? Here are some community, donation resources in Twin Cities