Suspect in Violent Park Point Attack Charged With Felony Assault and Robbery

A GoFundMe has been set up for the Victim

DULUTH, Minn. – Formal charges have been filed against 30-year-old Darrel Mayhew who is accused of violently attacking a 70-year-old man and breaking into several homes in the Park Point neighborhood last week.

Mayhew is charged with first-degree assault, first-degree aggravated robbery and first-degree burglary.

According to the criminal complaint, officers were dispatched to the 800 block of South Lake Avenue around 6:00 p.m. on January 2 for a report of an unknown trouble call which was later changed to a burglary.

Upon arrival officers made contact with Larry Watczak, 70, holding a towel over his head with blood dripping down his face.

Watczak told officers he had been attacked after two males walked through his unlocked front door and hit him in the head with a blunt object and threw a blanket over him.

The men asked him for money which he said he did not have and proceeded to take roughly $2.00 in change from his pocket and stole his cell phone. It was later learned the victim’s Samsung tablet was missing from his residence.

Watczak was rushed to St. Mary’s Hospital where he underwent surgery and remains in a coma.

According to the complaint, the next day a neighbor told investigators an African American male had approached his door as he was leaving and asked for money and pain killers around the time of the incident.

The neighbor had security cameras and provided video to investigators. The African American male in the video can be seen walking across the Lift Bridge towards Park Point and then returning to Canal Park about an hour and twenty minutes later carrying a red or orange bag.

Officers reviewed video from the Aerial Lift Bridge where they identified the suspect entering the Paulucci Building.

A security guard at the building verified with investigators he had made contact with the same male on January 2 inside an office. The male was described as an African American male wearing a University of Miami sweatshirt, with a black balaclava around his face and neck and a white bomber-style stocking cap over the balaclava with two white strings on either side of his face. The male was wearing winter style boots with no shoe laces.

According to the complaint, the suspect was tracked to the DECC and into the northwest passage of the Skywalk carrying what appeared to be a red bag and an electronic device that looked like a tablet.

Through cell phone records investigators were able to determine the victim’s stolen phone had been used to make a call from someone who lived at Miketin’s in downtown Duluth.

Officers made contact with a resident at Miketin’s who told them that another resident was outside smoking when a male approached him wanting to give him a cell phone that had active service on it.

Officers reviewed security footage from the building and identified a male consistent with the description and clothing to the African American male observed in Park Point both before and after the assault.

Officers received information containing the name of the male in the photograph released to the public as Darrel Darryl Mayhew.

On January 6, investigators made contact with Mayhew and his girlfriend at his residence.

A search of the apartment revealed a white hat consistent with that of the video surveillance as well as a Samsung tablet.

Mayhew’s girlfriend was questioned and told officers on January 2 Mayhew had been away from the apartment, returned to change clothes and left again. She also stated he came home with a red bag and the Samsung tablet but could not tell her where the tablet came from.

If you would like to donate to the victim of the assault, the family has set up a Go Fund Me page for donations to help with medical costs.

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