A man remained hospitalized Tuesday with serious stab wounds as police continued to sort out what provoked an assault aboard a Blue Line light-rail train the day before, a Metro Transit police spokesman said.
Police, meanwhile, backed away from an earlier narrative suggesting that the stabbing stemmed from an altercation at the Mall of America about the same time Monday.
Bloomington Deputy Police Chief Mike Hartley confirmed that officers were called to a disturbance on the east side of the mall about 6:45 p.m. and that a group of people who were fighting "scattered" when police arrived.
Officers chased one of the fleeing participants and arrested him near the North entrance, Hartley said. He said he had no reason to believe that the incident was related to the Blue Line assault.
Meantime, Minneapolis and Metro Transit officers were summoned to the area of N. 4th Street and Portland Avenue, near U.S. Bank Stadium, about 7 p.m. Monday for the report on the stabbing victim. Initially, it was reported that the assault took place on a northbound Blue Line train somewhere between the mall and the stadium, leading to some confusion about whether the stabbing was related to the mall disturbance.
Howie Padilla, the Metro Transit spokesman, said that the victim remained at HCMC Tuesday and was recovering from unspecified "serious" wounds.
Padilla said that the victim was seen boarding a northbound train at the Franklin Avenue station.
After interviewing witnesses from the train, investigators determined that the victim and the suspect were "initially amicable with each other," before they started arguing, according to Padilla.
"That altercation quickly became physical, ending with the victim being stabbed," Padilla said in an e-mail. "Investigators continue to work the case and will be reviewing video from station platforms and train cars."
According to emergency radio dispatches, the suspect was described as a man with a light complexion who wore earrings and a black winter jacket with red lining, jeans and light tan cowboy boots. He was last seen riding away from the scene on a red bike. He wasn't in custody as of Tuesday afternoon.