Man charged in October attack on woman at U of M library

  • Updated: October 15, 2007 - 8:53 PM

Man charged in attack at University of Minnesota library.

The man suspected of attacking a woman in a University of Minnesota library on Oct. 1 has been charged by Hennepin County prosecutors.

According to court documents, Matthew G. Pengra, 35, of New Brighton, approached the woman, a graduate student, as she was looking for a book at the Wilson Library, which is on the campus' West Bank.

He offered to help her find the book, telling her it was on the library's fifth floor, the documents said.

But as she followed him up a stairwell, the woman realized there was no public access to the fifth floor and suspected something was wrong, the documents said.

At that point, Pengra grabbed her and tried to put his hand over her mouth.

She hit Pengra, screamed and ran to the stairs but she lost her balance. She fell down the stairs, breaking her glasses and scraping her leg, the documents said. Still, she continued to scream and Pengra ran past her and out of the library, the documents said.

Police identified Pengra with the help of surveillance video from the library and arrested him Saturday. He has been charged with false imprisonment and failure to register as a predatory offender.

According to the charges, Pengra is a Level 2 noncompliant predatory offender who last registered his address in August, listing a Hennepin County address.

He has an extensive criminal history in several Twin Cities counties. He is facing charges in another attack last year in which he allegedly grabbed a female student at the University Village Apartments.

TOM FORD

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