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5 suspected St. Paul gang members arrested in man's beating

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It was just two weeks ago that police announced with some fanfare that 16 members of the East Side Boys gang in St. Paul had been arrested in a sweep involving more than 100 officers.

But the gang is still at it. Police say five teens – ages 15, 13, 15, 16 and 14 – suspected to be members of the gang, were arrested in a weekend beating of a 24-year-old man, the Pioneer Press reports. He was not severely injured, but the attackers stomped the man's hand, dislocating fingers, and robbed him of $20 late Saturday night in St. Paul's Payne-Phalen neighborhood, the newspaper reports.

It was the same gang blamed for the near-fatal Aug. 4 beating of Ray Widstrand, who made headlines recently when he forgave the teen attackers.

Police, residents and city officials have been on high alert to escalating violence on St. Paul's east side, the Star Tribune reported in August.

Hundreds of residents turned out for a neighborhood forum on Payne-Phalen violence in August. Police Chief Thomas Smith told the crowd a special force of 30 officers was being assembled to act as a rapid-response force.

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