Man charged in mugging of St. Paul Park pastor


Charges were filed Monday against one of two men suspected in the Dec. 26 assault and attempted robbery of a St. Paul Park pastor, the Pioneer Press reports.

Kenntrail Anthony Marshall, 19, of St. Paul, was charged with attempted first-degree aggravated robbery, according to a criminal complaint filed in Ramsey County District Court.

The Rev. Obadiah "Oby" Ballinger, 31, said he was walking home from a corner market in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood in St. Paul the morning after Christmas when he was attacked by two men.

According to FOX 9, Ballinger told his congregation at the Community United Church of Christ, “They attacked me, punched me and drove me to the ground."

In the complaint, Ballinger said to the alleged assailants, "I'm not looking at you" after spotting them the morning of the mugging.

Still, the men "aggressively approached" Ballinger, punched him in the face and back of his head, and patted his pockets but did not take anything, the complaint said.

According to the complaint, Marshall initially denied involvement in the mugging. He later admitted to police that he punched Ballinger and patted down his pockets with the intention of taking the contents before changing his mind.

Images captured on surveillance video from a building at 503 Asbury St. helped authorities identify the suspects, the complaint said.

The complaint said the second suspect, only identified by two initials, has not yet been charged in the case.

The Pioneer Press said Ballinger is glad justice is being served in the case, and that he plans on continuing his work to "make the community a better place so that kids don't fall into these circumstances in the first place."

In an interview with FOX 9 last week, Ballinger said that he had already forgiven his attackers, and that longing for revenge “is like drinking a poison and waiting for someone else to die.”

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