Officials Respond To DECC Assault

DULUTH, Minn.– The attack of the 65-year-old Clean and Safe Team employee on the Fourth of July came as a shock to the community. Now, we are hearing the reactions from DECC officials. Who were surprised by the news of the violent encounter that happened on their property.

“We have made great investments in our overnight security. The city of Duluth has incredibly stepped up by providing more patrols in the skyway than before,” DECC Communications Director, Lucie Amundsen, said.

Despite their efforts to combat these issues, the incident is still an eye-opener for city and business leaders.

The Greater Downtown Council sent out a statement earlier today reading in part:

“This type of violence cannot be tolerated. Enough is enough! We have continued to share concerns from the business community, but now it’s time for zero tolerance. Our Downtown deserves better, our community deserves better. And our partners agree. Our healing thoughts and prayers are with the victim and her family” The Greater Downtown Council statement said.

We also heard from Mayor Emily Larson on Thursday about the Greater Downtown Council.

It reads in part, quote:

“Every member of our Duluth community deserves to feel safe, full stop. I share the GDC’s hurt, sadness, and frustration about this incident and the fact that a handful of people are creating a whole lot of issues. This is one great example where a Community Court could make all the difference,” Mayor Larson said.

Michael Hansen, the man who was charged for assaulting the employee, already has a rap sheet. He’s accused of assaulting another person in downtown Duluth back in April, leaving the victim hospitalized with a fractured wrist.

With the lack of patrol in places such as the DECC. Some community members, like the clean and safe team member’s son, feels like these incidents were bound to happen.

“You know, I just don’t think anybody should be walking alone, unarmed, through this much area. Especially with, you know, how much mental illness there is, and homelessness in this city. Something like this was bound to happen,” The victim’s son, Jerry, said.

We reached out to the Duluth clean and safe team to hear more on their reaction, but they say they are still finalizing future prevention plans, but are in contact with the family.

With future Bayfront events coming up soon, organizers ask people who walk the DECC at night to stay in groups, and avoid being alone. The DECC confirms they will continue to review and improve safety protocols, and to work closely with the police department, and the Greater Duluth City Council.

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