Northfield Police say a Northfield man and two 17-year-olds early Sunday morning assaulted and robbed a teenager, punching him and kicking him in the head as he pleaded with them to stop.
Nicholas Eugene Tenhoff, 26, is charged with first-degree aggravated robbery, a felony with a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and a $35,000 fine, and third-degree assault resulting in substantial bodily harm, a felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Authorities did not release the names of the two juvenile males or details of any potential charges against them.
Police were called to the intersection of Fourth and Washington streets just before 1:15 a.m. Sunday to investigate a reported assault and robbery, according to the criminal complaint filed in Rice County District Court.
They found a 19-year-old man lying on the ground, wrapped in a white sheet, his face covered in blood, with a broken front tooth.
The victim told police that three people, one of whom had a beard, had jumped him after telling him that he was “getting robbed,” then beat him and took his wallet.
A witness told officers that he heard the victim scream, then saw the three suspects run to an apartment complex in the 300 block of Washington Street. Police traced the suspects to an apartment in the building and heard people inside laughing and talking about how they “[expletive] up” a 19-year-old, kicking him in the head as he pleaded with them to stop kicking and punching him, according to the complaint.
Tenhoff opened the apartment door, and all three were arrested. Police found blood on the cuffs of Tenhoff’s shirt, on his jeans and his shoes, and took the items as evidence.
One of the 17-year-olds told police that he was the first one to punch the victim in the head. He said he was so drunk that he couldn’t remember the rest of the assault, but he said he had a $20 bill that had belonged to the victim.
Police noted that the boy appeared intoxicated and that one of his knuckles was swollen and bruised. The boy told officers that it was an old boxing injury. They found blood on his pants cuff and his shoes, the complaint says. A subsequent breath test showed that the boy’s blood-alcohol content was .149 percent.
The boy later told police that he, Tenhoff and the other 17-year-old had been in Tenhoff’s apartment for two or three hours, and he denied being involved in the assault or robbery. He said the blood on his pants came from an “earlier incident involving someone else,” and that he had borrowed the shoes from another person.
The boy changed his story again, telling police that he and the other two suspects were walking back from a convenience store when several men began “talking [expletive]” to them. He said he punched the victim in the face, and the other 17-year-old and Tenhoff began kicking the man.
Police found $97.07 in the boy’s pocket; some of the bills had blood on them, according to the complaint.
The other juvenile told police that he and the other boy were at Tenhoff’s apartment, and that he drove them to the convenience store. On their way back, one of them said, “Do you want to make some money? Jump the guy,” according to the complaint.
All three got out of the car and approached the victim, and the second juvenile said Tenhoff asked if he had any money. He said he stood “in shock,” watching as Tenhoff and the other teenager punched and kicked the victim, then took his wallet.
The three then went back to Tenhoff’s apartment and emptied the victim’s wallet, splitting the cash, according to the second juvenile. He admitted to police that he took the money because he had a fine to pay and he thought it was “an easy 25 bucks,” according to the complaint.
Police found the victim’s driver’s license and credit cards in Tenhoff’s pocket, along with cash, some of which had blood on it, according to the complaint.
Tenhoff admitted to police only that he and some “minors” were drinking in his apartment, and that he left to get some cigarettes. When an investigator asked how he came to have the victim’s property, Tenhoff asked for an attorney.
Tenhoff’s extensive criminal history includes two separate convictions for third-degree assault in 2003, when he was 16. He also has convictions for fifth-degree assault in 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2011, and a conviction for child neglect—with a felony domestic assault charge dismissed—in 2011.
Tenhoff is being held in the Rice County Jail and is scheduled to make a first appearance on the latest charges Tuesday morning.