Two juveniles arrested in connection with downtown St. Patrick's Day riot

There's a saying that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, and cities across the U.S. often have parades and other fun events to celebrate the holiday. According to the Minneapolis St. Patrick's Day Association, the city's St. Patrick's Day parade tradition dates back to 1969 and today is considered a fun family event.

This most-recent St. Patrick's Day parade, however, was marred by violence as hundreds of what police officers describe as "young people" brawled in the streets of downtown Minneapolis. Currently, two adults along with two juveniles, ages 15 and 16 have been arrested in connection to the St. Patrick’s Day events and are facing criminal charges.

Police report that the free rides on city buses and trains that were meant to curb drunk driving and ease traffic congestion, instead served as an easy way for hundreds of teens and young adults to travel downtown. Trouble was first reported around 7:40 p.m. near Nicollet Mall and 6th street as fights erupted among the crowds of young people.

Police arrested a 21-year-old man who was seen brandishing a knife, also charging the man with second-degree felony riot charges. Also arrested was a 15-year-old boy for alleged assault and a 16-year-old girl "on suspicion of riot."

In this type of chaotic and dangerous situation, it's easy to see how a young person could get caught up in something by mistake. Fueled by fear and adrenaline, both the juveniles and police officers involved in these incidents may have made mistakes and committed unlawful acts.

For juveniles who are facing criminal charges, it's critical to secure legal representation. Many teens fail to realize the significant and far-reaching repercussions that can result from a criminal conviction. An attorney will ensure that a juvenile’s rights are protected and work to get criminal charges dismissed or reduced.

Source: Star Tribune, "A few face prosecution among hundreds in St. Patrick's melee on Nicollet Mall," Paul Walsh, March 24, 2015

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