U of Minnesota student sexually assaulted while walking off campus

  • Article by: ANTHONY LONETREE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 25, 2013 - 3:02 PM

Off-campus incident spurs one of two university crime alerts.

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File photo: University of Minnesota campus police chief Greg Hestness.

Photo: Richard Sennott, Star Tribune

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A University of Minnesota student was sexually assaulted early Sunday by a man whom she said claimed to be a cop, a university police crime alert said Sunday.

However, on Monday Minneapolis police said there was no indication that the suspect identified himself as a police officer.

"It was implied that he was security related," said Cmdr. Bruce Folkens of the Minneapolis Police Special Crimes unit.

According to police on Sunday, the woman had been walking just off campus near 15th Avenue SE. and 8th Street SE. about 2:15 a.m. when a man in a black SUV slowed to talk to her. The crime alert had said that the man said he was a police officer, and warned her against walking alone.

The suspect then offered the student a ride, and after she got in the vehicle, he locked the doors, drove to a remote location west of Interstate 35W and sexually assaulted her, police said.

Police described the suspect as a black male, 23 to 27 years old, with short hair or a shaved head, and a neatly trimmed chin-strap style beard. He had a medium build and was wearing a dark jacket with a badge on it, dark pants and a security or police style duty belt, police said.

The SUV reportedly had a computer screen in the center console.

Minneapolis police are investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call the tip line at 612-692-8477 and reference case number MP-13-391636.

Also Sunday, university police issued a crime alert about an on-campus robbery that occurred just after 10 p.m. Saturday.

In that incident, the victim reported being surrounded by three males near 17th Avenue SE. and 4th Street SE. and ordered to give them his backpack, which contained his laptop. The student complied and the suspects fled on foot. The victim was not injured, police said.

Saturday’s robbery follows a series of high-profile incidents on or near campus that have resulted in some robbery victims being injured.

This month, University Police Chief Greg Hestness said overall crime levels, however, were not above normal.

 

Anthony Lonetree • 651-925-5036

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