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14-year-old boy chased from St. Paul lemonade stand by man with boxcutter

A 14-year-old boy escaped unharmed Tuesday when a man wielding a boxcutter chased him from his lemonade stand.

The boy was selling lemonade about 2:20 p.m. At Stillwater and White Bear Avenues in St. Paul when he was chased, police said. The motive is unclear, said police spokesman Steve Linders.

According to a police report and Linders: The boy was selling lemonade on the northeast corner of the intersection. The suspect and a woman were walking on the other side of the street and crossed toward the boy. They gave him some quarters. It's unclear whether they purchased lemonade.

The man and woman walked away, but then the man turned around and returned toward the boy. The woman was not with the suspect.

The suspect took a boxcutter from his pocket, chased the boy and made a verbal threat, Linders said. The suspect was about 10 to 15 feet away when the boy grabbed his backpack and ran to a nearby auto repair shop for help.

The suspect fled and was not found.

Linders said that a witness corroborated the boy's version of events. A clear description was not available.

St. Paul commemorates fallen firefighters with new signs

 

St. Paul fire Captain Bob Kippels talks about the memorial project while standing next to the first sign.

St. Paul fire Captain Bob Kippels talks about the memorial project while standing next to the first sign.

 

The St. Paul Fire Department is commemorating its fallen firefighters by posting dozens of signs across the city near where they lost their lives.

The first sign was unveiled Friday morning in the 400 block of Wacouta Street in Lowertown next to an old fire station that has been converted into condominiums. The sign commemorates George Wells, who died in 1884 after stepping on a nail at a fire scene and dying two weeks later of lock jaw, and John Zasada.

Zasada fell down the hole around a firefighter pole in 1959 and died.

St. Paul fire Captain Bob Kippels said that the circumstances around the deaths didn't matter as much as the firefighters' commitment to saving lives.

"All these guys came to work willing to risk their lives to save the lives of the residents of St. Paul," Kippels said at the unveiling Friday.

A total of 52 signs commemorating 62 firefighters who died between 1882 and 2009 are expected to be posted in about four weeks. The signs will be posted on buildings, in the ground or on posts.

Kippels said that the project started a little over a year ago when a firefighter suggested memorializing fallen colleagues. (There is a memorial at the state capitol for all of Minnesota's fallen firefighters.)

Kippels and St. Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard said the project is important because it recognizes firefighters who risked their lives for others, and whose deaths sometimes helped spur change in the profession.

"We are who we are today because of them," Zaccard said.

Signs can be sponsored through donations by visiting the St. Paul Fire Honor Guard web site at http://www.stpaulfirehonorguard.org/fund-lodd-markers. The web site also includes an interactive map with information about each death.