Cold Spring family speaks out against hate after SUV crashed into home

COLD SPRING — A Cold Spring family for two months has been the target of alleged racist harassment that came to a head Saturday when a stolen SUV with a piece of granite on the accelerator crashed into their home.

The vehicle hit hard enough to cause extensive damage to the house and shifted a vehicle inside the family’s garage, according to Stearns County Court documents. A child was sleeping in the living room at the time of the crash, just a short distance from where the vehicle struck the house. 

Inside the SUV a teddy bear hung from a noose, according to photos shared by the homeowners, Andrea and Phil Robinson, with the St. Cloud Times. There is a video of the crash as well. 

A Richmond man, Benton Beyer, 32, has been charged with felony theft, stalking, first-degree damage to property with potential risk of bodily harm and violating a restraining order, according to Stearns County Court documents filed Monday. 

RELATED: Man accused of stalking, crashing stolen vehicle into house in Cold Spring

Stearns County court issued a harassment restraining order on May 21 that prohibited Beyer from direct or indirect contact with Andrea Robinson for two years. Since then, he’s been charged four times with violating the restraining order.

The harassment began when Robinson reported her Black children were the target of racist bullying in ROCORI public schools.

“These are hate crimes,” Robinson said Sunday on the Trahern Crews Show on 94.1 FM Frogtown Community Radio.

The St. Cloud Times has asked staff in the Stearns County Attorney’s office whether they considered hate crime charges. After forwarding on the question, the staffer noted that the office has a no-comment policy on active prosecution matters.