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Police search for suspects in two late-night attacks downtown

Several suspects are on the loose after two attacks in downtown Columbia.

Police said one reason no one has been arrested at this point is because very little information is known about the attackers. The victims could not give police much of a physical description for any of the suspects.

Shortly before 3:00 Saturday morning, officers responded to a robbery near Sixth and Cherry Streets.

Two men told police a dark Ford F-150 truck pulled up with about eight to ten men. The group came up to the victims and one person pointed a gun at them, demanded money and drove away.

Shortly after, officers found a similar truck with about seven men and two BB guns inside. But, police could not make any arrests because the items reported stolen were not in the vehicle and victims gave no suspect descriptions.

Bryana Maupin with the Columbia Police Department said paying attention to as much detail as possible can help police solve these types of crimes.

Bryana Maupin, Columbia Police Department: “Going back to ensuring that you can get the most accurate description of what the suspect looks like, what the suspect was wearing, maybe a voice. Those are always very important for the officers to be able to again go back and maybe reference if there are similar incidents like this to look for a pattern, to look at a database that may have previous suspects in similar crimes, that’s always very beneficial.”

Then the next morning, officers were called to Fifth and Elm Streets around 1:20. A 20-year-old man had been punched in the mouth, was bleeding and possibly missing teeth.

Police said the victim was punched by a man in a wheelchair and then hit by two other men.

A witness said two college-aged men appeared to be “messing around” with a wheelchair earlier and the man in the chair stood up and seemed to not need it.

Maupin said if you are walking home late at night, walk with a group or stay on well-lit paths.

Maupin: “While you’re walking make sure that you don’t have a lot of items that are visible to everyone such as purses, personal belongings, cell phones, anything of that nature that could maybe have a suspect be more intrigued by you then.”

Police also said make sure you are aware of your surroundings so that if you do have to dial 911, you can give them an idea of where you are, what’s going on and what the suspect or suspects look like.

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