Police arrest man in Como area for alleged peeping

Tim Sturrock

A University student said a man has been peeping into her house since this summer, sometimes pressing his face against a window. Police arrested the suspect Friday.

“At first it seemed like just a peeping Tom. It seemed kind of silly; it didn’t seem like a real threat,” said the student, who asked not to be identified.

She said the man visited her house – located in the Como neighborhood – around midnight several times since the beginning of the summer. He allegedly peeped despite blinds being closed and the installation of motion detectors. Sometimes he would hide behind trees in the yard and then run away, she said.

But as the summer wore on, the student said she and her roommates became more scared as the man became bolder. At one point, he allegedly approached one of her roommates in the backyard. The roommate ran into the house and called the police as the man disappeared.

That was one of many calls police received about a man the student described as looking like a scarecrow: thin with bushy hair and baggy clothing.

Police arrested the alleged peeper, Kevin Leigh Menard, Friday. Undercover police in the neighborhood found Menard nearby. He matched the student’s description, and she later identified him. Menard has appeared in court twice since the late 1980s for peeping, which is a misdemeanor. He was convicted once.

The student now takes extra precaution by locking doors and closing blinds more often than she did before. “It’s just kind of a wake-up call, I guess,” she said.

Minneapolis police Lt. Chris Hildreth said peeping Toms are not uncommon and neither are their arrests. He said most Toms have their own routine and don’t have the self-control to stay away from the areas or houses they like to peep, which aids in making arrests.

In other police news

A thief or thieves stole $150 from the University marching band’s tuba storage room.

Peter Rich, a freshman, said perpetrators took the cash but missed the Palm Pilot he had left in his backpack.

No tubas were reported stolen.