Two men charged in St. Patrick’s Day assault

Posted at 10:46 AM, Mar 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-28 11:27:21-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Two people have been charged in connection with an assault caught on video on St. Patrick's Day in Grand Rapids.

Surveillance video showed four people near the victim at the corner of Cherry and Ionia on the evening of St. Patrick's Day.  One person sucker punches the victim, knocking him out, and another takes his cell phone.

Police say that the person who threw the punch is being charged with Aggravated Assault. The person taking the cell phone is being charged with Misdemeanor Larceny and Lying to a Peace Officer.  The two turned themselves in to police Thursday and have been taken to the Kent County Jail.

The suspects talked to FOX 17 on March 21, after the video was released by police to try and identify them.  Shawn Engstrom, the suspect who says he threw the punch, said that the victim called him and his friends a homophobic slur and yelled profanities and approached them.  Engstrom says he has Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome from a prior assault and he feared for his safety.

The victim had been in critical condition as of March 21. We are working on getting an update on his condition.