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2 men charged with attacks on police officers during tense weekend

According to the charges, one hit an officer with a stick, the other used mace.

Two men now face assault charges stemming connected to the weekend spate of attacks on Minneapolis police officers

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office on Tuesday announced the charges against Robert Ford, 21, and Christopher Smith, 39.

Ford, from Minneapolis, is charged with second- and fourth-degree assault. He's accused of hitting a police officer with a stick on May 16, at Hennepin Avenue and 5th Street North in downtown Minneapolis. 

According to the criminal complaint:

"An ambulance was trying to leave the scene to transport an injured person to the hospital. Ford was blocking the emergency vehicle and refused to move, so an officer "escorted" him out of the way. That's when Smith, who'd had a stick in his hand, allegedly took a swing at the officer, hitting him over the head. He was detained, and the officer suffered a knot in his head."

If convicted on both counts, Ford could face up to 10 years in prison and/or fins totaling up to $20,000. His first court appearance was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Smith, meanwhile, is charged with fourth-degree assault in connection with an incident at that same location on the same day. According to the charges:

"Officers were trying to arrest a different individual, when Smith approach and sprayed mace at four or five officers on the scene. Smith then fled, leaving the officers coughing and suffering from impaired vision. He was later apprehended and admitted to spraying the officers with mace, adding 'he would do so again in the future.'"

The maximum sentence Smith could face, if convicted, is up to three years in prison and/or a fine up to $6,000. His first court appearance is set for Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

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