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A former Twin Cities police chief says his son sustained a traumatic brain injury in an attack in downtown Minneapolis on Friday night. 

Scott Nadeau has held several high-ranking law enforcement jobs in the Twin Cities metro over the past 30 years, including — most recently — time as police chief in Maplewood and interim chief Golden Valley. 

In a viral Facebook post on Saturday, Nadeau said his 24-year-old son had to be hospitalized after being robbed and beaten by an unknown assailant outside a downtown bar. 

"A suspect grabbed his phone while he was using it outside a bar, and when my son went to get the phone back he was punched and beaten," Nadeau wrote. "He is currently in the hospital with a broken sinus, skull fractures, and bleeding on the brain."

According to Minneapolis police, the attack happened at about 2:15 a.m. Saturday outside Gay 90's at 408 Hennepin Ave., with officers responding to a report of an unconscious man suffering from a possible head injury.

"As is common with investigations of this type, investigators are speaking with witnesses and obtaining available video surveillance," MPD said in a brief report. "Anyone with information is encouraged to contact CrimeStoppers."

In the post, which has been shared over 630 times, Nadeau points to staffing shortages within the Minneapolis Police Department and claims anyone who says downtown is safe is "lying or incredibly uninformed."

"Like many of you, this was not personal until I watched my son trying to breath, his jaw broken, his brain swollen and bleeding, us wondering what long term effects he would have, because he tried to hold onto his phone," he wrote.

In an interview with Jason DeRusha on WCCO Radio on Monday, Nadeau said his son is now home, but faces a long road to recovery.

Nadeau said he hopes speaking publicly about his son's attack will raise awareness of a larger trend of phone thefts motivated by fraudsters looking to access financial transaction apps and banking information. 

"How do we support the police knowing we demand great policing and accountability?" he said during the interview. "Those two things are not mutually exclusive." 

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