Police investigating 3 assaults over span of 3 days

St. Paul police are investigating a series of assaults that occurred on the East Side and North End neighborhoods of St. Paul on May 12 and 14.

The assailants in each attack used a stun gun with the apparent intent to rob people, according to a press release from the St. Paul Police Department. Police are warning people who are walking, running or biking in the areas where the assaults occurred to take precautions to keep themselves safe. 

According to police, the first assault took place at about 9 p.m. on May 12 near the intersection of Lexington Parkway and Montana Avenue just north of the Como Park Golf Course.

Police said a 61-year-old man was out for a walk when several men approached him on foot and attacked him with a stun gun. During the assault, the attackers took the man’s apartment and car keys.

The second assault happened around 8:30 p.m. on May 14 near the 1500 block of Mississippi Street on the East Side, police said. A 23-year-old man was riding his bike when someone drove a vehicle into the back of the bike, knocking him to the ground. The attackers then used what investigators believe to be a stun gun on the man, punched him several times and took his cell phone.

Police said the third assault occurred at about 9:10 p.m., also on May 14, in the 1400 block of Como Avenue, to the west of the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. A 23-year-old woman was jogging past two men when she was pushed to the ground and assaulted with a stun gun. The woman was able to scream, causing the men to leave the area. Nothing was taken from her.

Police said none of the victims were able to provide investigators with detailed descriptions of those who attacked them, but in all three cases the people responsible for the assaults were men who were either wearing masks or had hoods pulled tight around their faces.

Increased patrols have been put in place in the areas where the attacks occurred, and investigators are working to locate any video footage that might help identify suspects.

Police said that while the victims in each of these cases did nothing wrong, they are reminding people to be aware of their surroundings when they are out walking, running or biking — especially at night, and provided the following tips: walk, run and bike with a companion whenever possible; try to avoid areas that are not well lit after dark; always call 911 if you see something or someone suspicious; always trust your intuition.

Anyone with information about the attacks is asked to call investigators at 651-266-5650.

 

— Marjorie Otto

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