Duluth City Leaders Respond To Safe Team Member Assault
Officials with the City of Duluth are offering their public responses to the assault of a Duluth Clean and Safe Team member in the DECC parking ramp on the Fourth of July.
In an emailed letter from the Greater Downtown Council, Kristi Stokes shared this response:
It is with sadness and frustration that I share one of our beloved Clean & Safe Team members is recovering from injuries after a brutal attack this week while patrolling downtown.
13-year veteran Cecile Simonson suffered a head injury requiring stitches and a compression fracture of her lower back. She encountered three males in the DECC parking ramp stairwell, and after a brief interaction, one of the men assaulted her, striking her head against the railing 4-5 times. The suspect, Michael Allen Hanson, then threatened and assaulted a police officer before he was detained. He was arraigned Wednesday on charges of Third-Degree Assault, Threats of Violence, Assault on a Peace Officer as well as a probation violation.
Repeat offenders need to be held accountable. 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 Cecile and her family."
That same email message also contained the responses from Duluth Mayor Emily Larson and Duluth Police Chief Mike Tuskan. Both pledged investments aimed at "increasing safety" and "meeting with concerned community members". The Police Chief noted that the suspect was "out on the streets on a pretrial release for an assault [that occurred] in April".
Cecile Simonson, a 13-year veteran of the Clean and Safe Team patrol, was attacked after an interaction with three males who were in the stairway of the parking ramp. After telling them that "you can't be here", one of the three individuals took action against Simonson.
According to the Criminal Complaint as referenced via news sources, the suspect - 37-year old Michael Allen Hanson - "grabbed her by the ponytail and smashed her head against the railing four or five times". Later, Hanson also "threatened to kill [the police] officer [that responded to the call] multiple times as he was approached".