Derrick Leon Jiles Jr., 17, has been charged in Ramsey County juvenile court with first-degree aggravated robbery, second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and fleeing police after allegedly assaulting a woman and stealing her vehicle at gunpoint in a parking lot behind a commercial building at 975 Grand Ave. just before 3 p.m. on Wednesday, October 27.

According to the felony juvenile petition, a 53-year-old woman said she had parked her 2018 Mercedes SUV behind a store at that address to go shopping and walked by a boy who said “hello.” When she left the store, the boy grabbed her bag, put a gun to her temple and demanded her car keys. When she refused to give up her bag, the suspect tripped her, kicked her in the face, stepped on her neck and put the gun to her head again, threatening to kill her.

A 19-year-old store employee came out when he heard the woman yell for help. She eventually gave her keys to the suspect, who drove off in the stolen vehicle. Video surveillance showed the suspect walking back and forth in the lot talking on a cellphone before the robbery. A nearby business also had video of him walking in front of its rear door before the robbery. Another nearby business reported that the suspect had been there and that employees thought he was “casing” the place.

On October 30, the stolen Mercedes was observed parked on Bush Street on Saint Paul’s East Side. A Ramsey County sheriff’s deputy placed a tire deflation device in front of the car. Around 10 p.m. the vehicle started to pull away and the deputy gave chase.

Though the Mercedes had blown right tires, it was driven away at a high speed and ran red lights and stop signs. It sideswiped a vehicle on Maryland Avenue and Arcade Street, swerved into the oncoming traffic lane and sped down I-35. It came to an abrupt stop on Mackubin Street, at which point two boys got out and ran behind an industrial building and into nearby woods. The deputy and a Saint Paul officer apprehended the two males. The driver was identified as Jiles, who was carrying a loaded gun and keys to the stolen vehicle. He and his 15-year-old male passenger declined to give a statement.

Jiles’ mother later told investigators that something had to be done with her son because he did not take anything seriously and she feared he would end up dead. She said “they let him off easy” on a previous gun charge and he was right back on the streets once his probation was over and his ankle monitor was removed.

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