A Burnsville man who was convicted of robbery in 2011 has been charged with illegally possessing a pistol during an altercation in north Minneapolis.
Wesley Rayvon Johnson, 20, is charged with prohibited person in possession of a firearm, a felony with a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years.
According to the criminal complaint, police were called to the area of 8th Avenue and Penn Avenue North at about 4 p.m. Oct. 23 on a report of shots being fired. Witnesses described the suspect to police and told them that he had run west on 8th Avenue; additional witnesses told officers that he had been spotted on Russell Avenue.
Officers were waiting for a group of four men to walk in front of their squad car when they noticed that one of the men was clutching the waistband of his pants and looking “very nervous.” The man was subsequently identified as Matthew P. Robinson, 19, of Minneapolis.
Police got out of the squad car, and Robinson ran away with officers in pursuit. Another officer told the remaining three men to show their hands; one of the men, later identified as Johnson, began to back away from the group and the officer, and hid his left arm and hand from the officer, according to the complaint.
The officer told the men to lie on the ground. Two of the men complied, but Johnson crouched and continued to keep his arm and hand hidden, the complaint says.
The officer continued telling Johnson to get on the ground, but instead Johnson approached the officer, holding out his cell phone and telling him that his mother was on the line and wanted to speak to police, according to the complaint.
The officer knocked the phone out of Johnson’s hand and tried to push him toward the ground; Johnson tensed his body and refused to lie down, continuing to keep his left arm and hand hidden, the complaint charges.
A motorist passing the scene stopped and asked the officer if he needed help, and the man and the officer were able to overpower Johnson and handcuff him. When he was pulled up, a pistol fell out of his shirt, according to the complaint.
Johnson has been released from custody on a $20,000 bond. Robinson, who is charged with carrying a pistol without a permit and fleeing a peace officer, remains in the Hennepin County Jail on a $10,000 bond. Omnibus hearings are scheduled Nov. 27 for Johnson and Nov. 29 for Robinson, both in Hennepin County District Court.