Hennepin County prosecutors on Tuesday charged a 56-year-old man with making racial slurs and assaulting a man for speaking Somali aboard a Metro Transit bus over the weekend.
According to a criminal complaint filed in county district court, Cornell White, who has no permanent address, has been charged with fourth-degree assault motivated by racial bias and possessing methamphetamine.
Authorities said that on Nov. 19 police responded to a silent alarm for a report of a fight aboard bus #3353, in the area of Chicago Avenue and E. Lake Street, in south Minneapolis. When they arrived, officers found White allegedly yelling racial and sexual slurs as he exited the bus, according to prosecutors.
The victim told police that he had been speaking Somali with a friend on the bus when the defendant suddenly got up and started yelling at him to “speak English,” before punching the victim several times in the face and body, the complaint said.
Police said the unprovoked attack was captured by a video camera inside the bus.
As White was being booked in the county jail, officers confiscated about 2.5 grams of meth, according to the complaint.