Two men charged in St. Patrick’s Day assault

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.


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  • Ella

    All you had to do was walk away. Even 5 yr olds know “sticks & stones may break my bones but NAMES WILL NEVER HURT ME”. Boo hoo, he called you a name.

  • J Scott

    The victim was clearly walking away, hands in pocket, and was not a threat. The fact that not only did this coward sucker punch the victim but then the 4 of them left him in the street to potentially die, speaks volumes of their character. These four attempted to skew the court of public opinion by spreading false stories about a man who can not defend himself and might not ever be the same again. The other two in the group chose not to call 911 (and from the theft we can clearly see they had the means to alert someone that the young man in question needed help). I am quite certain if there would not have been video these 4 creeps would not have been so willing to come forward. There should be no plea deal in this case, justice would be for them to remain locked up three times as long as the victim suffers. I pray he makes a full recovery but he has a long road ahead of him.

  • PaBo

    Don’t forget that there is no sound on this video, so we don’t know what, if anything was said. These guys had more than enough time to get their story straight. The VICTIM was walking around them and had given them plenty of room, the guy that sucker punched him came at the victim who had his hands in his pockets. The whole story seems contrived. The victim is still in the hospital in ICU in critical condition. I hope they are both locked up with no plea deal and made to pay for the hospital bills. The victim didn’t deserve this.

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