Minneapolis Park Police responds to 911 call at Minnehaha Falls, investigating validity of 911 call

Minneapolis Park Police responds to 911 call at Minnehaha Falls, investigating validity of 911 call

Last night, Minneapolis Park Police responded to a 911 call describing an escalating, dangerous situation and reports of weapons at Minnehaha Regional Park. No weapons were found. The incident and validity of the 911 call is under investigation. A video posted on social media has raised concerns and questions regarding the incident. 

At around 7:30 pm Tuesday, Park Police officers were dispatched to a 911 call at Minnehaha Regional Park. The 911 caller reported four males holding knives and sticks and provided detailed descriptions of the four suspects. Additional information provided by the caller stated one suspect said he had a gun in his backpack. 911 information was then updated that the suspects were assaulting the 911 caller’s boyfriend. 

Officers arrived at 7:37 pm and quickly encountered the four male suspects described in the 911 call. One of the Park Police officers did unholster his firearm and point it in the general direction of the four suspects. The four suspects were handcuffed and detained at the scene. Two suspects were initially placed in the back of the squad car and two were left seated in front of the squad car before being placed in the squad car. No weapons were recovered from the four detained people. Once the scene was controlled, officers investigated further. Officers were unable to contact, on scene or by phone, the 911 caller or the 911 caller’s boyfriend. Witness accounts on the scene were inconsistent with the 911 callers account of the incident. 

Officers interviewed some witnesses who described a confrontation between the involved four parties and another unidentified person. The four detained individuals were ages 13, 13, 14, and 16. 

One of the four detained teens was determined to be a runaway. He was transported to the Juvenile Supervision Center, and has been released. The other three teens were released last night at the park. There were no physical injuries to the four detained teens. 

Officers were wearing body-worn cameras and the cameras were activated during the encounter. This morning, Park Police Chief Jason Ohotto and Superintendent Mary Merrill viewed the body-worn camera footage. Chief Ohotto and Superintendent Merrill are requesting an independent investigation of the incident to determine that park police policies, procedures and laws were followed. 

Park Police will continue to investigate the origins and validity of the initial 911 call. Falsely reporting a crime in Minnesota is a misdemeanor level criminal offense, per statute 609.505. Any witnesses at the scene who have not already provided statements to Park Police are encouraged to call 612-230-6550 and request Lt. Swanson.


Police case number is MP 2018-229506