Mark Andrew beaten with a club for his iPhone at Mall of America
Posted by: Maya Rao under Politics and government, Public safety
Updated: December 27, 2013 - 12:15 PM
A leading candidate in this year’s race for mayor of Minneapolis said today he was beaten over the head with a billy club for his iPhone outside a Starbucks at the Mall of America.
Mark Andrew, also a former Hennepin County commissioner, received nine stitches at Fairview Southdale Hospital, where an ambulance took him after the attack around 7 p.m. Thursday.
The two young women who attacked him, including a teenager, were charged with assault with a deadly weapon and robbery.
“I was targeted because the phone was out and I’m 63 years old, and I’m sure they thought that I was easy pickin’s,” said Andrew by phone this morning, while on painkillers and on his way to give statements to the Bloomington Police Department.
Andrew placed second to Betsy Hodges in November’s most competitive race for mayor in a generation, when voters chose between 35 candidates in the city’s first major test of ranked choice voting. He continues to work as an environmental marketing consultant.
He said he was working at a table alone at the Starbucks when someone – he thinks it was a man – whisked his phone away and ran out the door. As Andrew ran after the thief, two young women waiting outside the coffee shop tackled him, and one began beating him on the head and face with a club.
Andrew said he jumped back to his feet and physically restrained one attacker while the other continued striking him. They yelled,“We’re going to kill you! We’re going to kill you!”
No one at the packed Starbucks intervened.
“They were too afraid,” Andrew said.
He guessed the police came after about five minutes. Upon their arrival, Andrew said the women told police that he had assaulted them first, but a witness inside the shop confirmed his account. Even after authorities detained the attackers, the women told Andrew they would have him killed.
The hospital treated and released him the same night.
The person who swiped the phone apparently dropped it after seeing the commotion, and a passerby later returned it to Andrew.
“I’m not going to let someone take my phone,” Andrew said.“I’m not going to let that pass. They thought they wouldn’t get chased.”
As Andrew walked back into his south Minneapolis home, he recalled, he lifted his fist in the air and told his adult children,“We won.”
He vowed to stay involved in the case.
"They’re damaged kids, and maybe they’re too far gone, but I think there’s redemption for everybody," said Andrew. "So we’ll try to find a way for them to get in a place where they can turn their lives around.”