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Monica Jensen

Man Charged with Assault and Kidnapping at Holiday Gas Station in Burnsville - Ariel Luis Barnett
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Ariel Luis Barnett, age 31 of Burnsville, has been charged* with two counts of Assault in the Second Degree and two counts of Kidnapping in connection with taking employees of a Holiday gas station in Burnsville hostage at gunpoint which later resulted in a standoff with police on September 7, 2013. 

The following are facts contained in the criminal complaint concerning this incident:

On Saturday afternoon September 7, 2013, Barnett entered the Holiday gas station at Nicollet Avenue and Highway 13 in Burnsville armed with a sawed off shotgun.  He fired the gun into the ceiling of the store, one customer who was inside at the time ran out of the building.  Barnett ordered his former girlfriend, who was an employee of the store, and another male employee to call police because he was taking them hostage.  Barnett told both of them that their lives were in danger.

At 6:15 p.m. that evening, Burnsville police were dispatched to the scene and surrounded the gas station.  Officers were able to make contact with Barnett by phone and talked him into first releasing the male employee and eventually to surrender.

Barnett had been in a seven year relationship with the female victim and they recently separated after he was incarcerated in Rice County for 53 days on an unrelated matter.

Further facts in the criminal complaint can be found online at Criminal Complaint Search.  If in custody, a mug shot can be viewed at Inmate Search

Backstrom commented:  “This appears to be another incident of domestic-related violence which escalated into an extremely dangerous hostage situation.  Thankfully no one was seriously injured, but the trauma to the victims held at gunpoint was significant.” 

Backstrom thanked the Burnsville Police Department and other law enforcement agencies for their quick response.

Barnett’s next court appearance is set for October 8, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. in Hastings.  Bail in the amount of $250,000 without conditions ($150,000 with conditions) was set by Dakota County District Court Judge Michael Mayer. 

If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4440.

*Criminal charges are not evidence of guilt.  A defendant/suspect is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.