Jim Adams, Star Tribune, July 16, 2008
A woman whose husband was severely beaten trying to protect his daughter from being molested as the family left Valleyfair said Tuesday they remain traumatized and are still healing from bruises and injuries.
“He is hanging in there,” said his wife, who asked that the family not be identified out of fear for their safety. She didn’t recognize their attackers: “I never seen them a day before in my life.”
Police arrested seven of the suspects in the Valleyfair parking lot that night and the eighth escaped. Police did not have a good description of that suspect but would like help finding him.
Six men and a 14-year-old boy were charged July 8 with third-degree felony assault. More serious charges, and possibly a sex assault charge, may be filed after police finish their investigation, Scott County Attorney Patrick Ciliberto said Tuesday.
Ciliberto said Valleyfair has had “no assault of this magnitude” since he took office in 2002. He said the father was taken to Ridges Hospital in Burnsville for a fractured eye socket bone and other injuries. His office was told Monday that doctors were waiting for the man’s swelling to subside before checking for permanent injuries, which could justify more serious charges.
The couple was nearing the exit gate with their three daughters at about midnight on July 4, when two young men approached and slapped the youngest girl, about 12, on her buttocks. Her father yelled at the men, one of whom pulled out a cell phone and called for others to join in on the assault.
The wife said she and her daughters tried to protect her husband, and are still recovering from being punched. Her husband has been home from the hospital for a week .
One of the suspects, Darris D. Evans, allegedly punched a man in the face as the group left the unconscious father. Evans, 20, of Brooklyn Park, is charged with a misdemeanor assault for that offense, Tate said.
Besides Evans, five other men and an unnamed juvenile were charged with third-degree felony assault. The five are Derry D. Evans, 19, Minneapolis; Devondre Evans-Lewis, 18, of Columbia Heights; Terry L. Arnold, 22, Brooklyn Park; Andrew D. Shannon, 19, of Minneapolis, and Anthony C. Gildersleeve, 20, Edina.
Bail was set at $40,000 to $60,000 each and all the suspects posted bail bonds, a jail official said.
A check of state records show that two of the suspects have prior felony charges. Arnold and Evans-Lewis were arrested in an Eagan prostitution sting and charged in April with promoting prostitution in Dakota County. Arnold pleaded guilty in May. Arnold also was convicted of two misdemeanor assaults in 2005 and 2006.
Gildersleeve was convicted in March 2008 of carrying a pistol without a permit in a public place, a misdemeanor. Derry Evans was convicted of escaping from custody in January 2008. He was also convicted in May 2008 of disorderly conduct, a gross misdemeanor.