A 26-year-old woman was sexually assaulted at a south Minneapolis park in what police said Tuesday was the second such attack by a stranger reported within a couple of hours in the city.
Police Sgt. Stephen McCarty said, however, that the descriptions of the attackers lead him to think that the same person is not responsible for the assaults early Monday about 3 miles apart.
"Just on the height alone," McCarty said he's able to say the two cases do not appear related. No arrests have been made.
About 4 a.m. Monday, a woman was on foot along Stevens Square Park in the 1800 block of Stevens Avenue S, when she was sexually assaulted by a man she did not know, she told police.
About two hours later, a college student walking alone before dawn near the Mississippi River reported being sexually assaulted by a man who said he had a gun.
The reported assault occurred near West River Parkway as she was headed to the nearby St. Catherine University campus in Minneapolis at 25th Avenue S., McCarty said.
The woman, in her 20s, went to the hospital for treatment, McCarty said.
He declined to reveal details of either assault.
Although he was careful not to blame crime victims, McCarty said "we all have to take the necessary precautions" to be safe while out late at night and alone.
The Stevens Square Park attacker was described as younger, taller and with different facial hair than the one in the other case, but police said they did not have sufficient details to release a description.
The attacker in the second case was described as black, 35 to 40 years old, about 5 feet 5 inches tall, with a medium to heavy build and a scruffy beard. He was wearing a navy blue jacket with a zipper.
Anyone with information about the cases is asked to call the Minneapolis police sex crimes unit at 612-673-3081.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482