is currently investigating an assault that occurred Thursday morning at the strip mall directly to the east of the Hub Shopping Center. The incident inadvertently caused at least one area schools to go into lockdown mode.
According to Richfield Public Safety, two men with Minneapolis-based Midwest Maintenance and Mechanical were surveying a portion of the mall’s parking lot for a potential job. The two men—one of Becker, MN and the other of White Bear Lake, MN—bumped into the suspect and there were some words exchanged. The altercation escalated and the suspect reportedly struck both men with what appeared to be a closed pocketknife in his hand. One victim suffered a laceration to his ear. Police have not determined whether or not the alleged pocketknife was the cause of the cut.
The victims described the suspect as appearing to be Hispanic, between 20 and 30 years old, about 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, according to Richfield Public Safety. The suspect was reportedly wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, a black jacket with a hood and what appeared to be a dark colored stocking hat.
Triggering a Lockdown
Elaine Elsen, of Richfield Public Safety's records department, said it is not protocol for schools to go into lockdown in this type of situation. Miscommunication was likely the cause of the lockdowns.
“There was never any danger [to the schools],” Elsen told Richfield Patch. “I just think there may have been a breakdown in communication between [the liasion officer] and school staff.”
Richfield Patch attempted to contact the high school for comment, however the offices were closed for the day. This article will be updated if new information becomes available.