Two men who attempted to rob Smokedale Tobacco last month have both been charged in Washington County District Court.
Steven Rey Hassinger, 18, who has no permanent address, and Dominic Donte Hewitt, 20, of St. Paul, allegedly donned masks and tried to rob the smoke shop on Jan. 22.
According to the criminal complaint, when police responded to a robbery in progress at Smokedale they saw a man running and pointing behind the Holiday gas station. Police located Hassinger hiding near the bushes behind All Family Dental. Police then apprehended Hewitt.
Police also located a .22 caliber handgun in a garbage can at the gas station. The gun was in the firing position when the police recovered it.
Several witnesses and Smokedale employees told police that two men entered the shop with masks on and demanded money from the shop. The employees did not comply and then one of the men pulled out a handgun and continued to demand money.
When employees refused to hand over any money both of the men fled the scene.
Hassinger admitted to the robbery and assault during an interview with police. He also said the handgun was his property, according to the complaint.
Hassinger said that he and Hewitt planned the robbery before they went to the store. They also had a get-away driver who left the scene when they entered the store, the complaint states.
Hassinger is being charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and attempted aggravated robbery. If found guilty of assault he could face up to seven years in prison and pay $14,000 in fines; if he is found guilty of the attempted robbery he could face up to 20 years in prison and pay up to $35,000.
Hewitt is being charged with aiding and abetting second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and aiding and abetting attempted aggravated robbery. If found guilty he could face seven years in prison and pay up to $14,000 in fines for the first charge and face up to 20 years in prison and pay up to $35,000 for the second charge.