Posted on April 4, 2012

Flash Mobs Attack Minneapolis

Aaron Rupar, City Pages, April 4, 2012

Pieter’s mother explains over the phone that her son is resting. Pieter, whose last name is being withheld at his family’s request, is recovering from a brain injury suffered when he was attacked by a group of 20 to 30 young people in downtown Minneapolis shortly after 11 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day.

It’s a story that has unfolded disturbingly often recently: Since the start of February, “flash mobs” have struck with violence in downtown Minneapolis six times. Three of the attacks have resulted in injuries; Pieter’s are by far the most severe. After he was attacked, doctors at HCMC struggled to contain swelling in his brain. The possibility of Pieter needing open-brain surgery hung over the family until the next morning, when doctors finally concluded it wouldn’t be necessary. Pieter, 27, is now in the early stages of a slow recovery, but it’s too early to know whether he’ll ever bounce back completely.

Pieter and his 23-year-old nephew were downtown to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. They were hanging out at Kieran’s, and decided to head back to their hotel room on the other side of downtown around 11. While walking, Pieter and his nephew were “blindsided” by “20 to 30 juveniles.”

Grace said a Wells Fargo security guard saw part of the incident and later told police that the mob repeatedly kicked Pieter while he lay on the ground helplessly. When the beating finally ceased, Pieter was left with a bloody face, no short-term memory, and significant brain injuries.

{snip} As he couldn’t do in the hours immediately following the beatdown, he now remembers his name and is regaining some mobility. {snip}