Kidnapping attempted near the U

An unidentified man approached the University student in the 1000 block of University Avenue Southeast on Wednesday.

Matthew Gruchow

Minneapolis police are investigating the attempted kidnapping of an 18-year-old female University student that happened Wednesday.

The student was riding her bike in the 1000 block of University Avenue Southeast, according to Minneapolis police spokesman Ron Reier.

An unidentified black man approached the victim, and during a discussion, told her he had a book she might be interested in borrowing, according to information from Minneapolis police issued in a crime alert statement.

The victim went with the man to his apartment, and soon after, said she wanted to leave, said Reier.

The suspect stopped her from leaving, and the victim began yelling until a witness intervened to help. Police were then called to 1019 University Ave. S.E., Reier said.

Reier said the incident might be a sexual assault case.

“I’m not sure whether this is going to be a rape case or not,” Reier said.

The suspect is described as a light-skinned, black male in his early 20s with pockmarks and freckles on his face. He is approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall with a medium build, and is clean-shaven with short black hair.

At the time of the incident, the suspect was wearing a navy blue zip-up hooded sweatshirt and gray sweatpants.

Kidnapping reports are rare for the University, Steve Johnson, deputy chief of the University Police Department, said.

“This is kind of unusual that something like this would happen,” Johnson said. “We don’t have this reported very often at all.”

There were 19 forcible sex offenses reported in 2003, according to the University police Web site.

Johnson said people must be aware of the many scams used for entrapment.

“If someone is trying to distract you and to lure you somewhere and your instincts say, ‘Don’t go,’ follow your instincts,” Johnson said. “There are all sorts of scams that people will use to reel people in.”

Minneapolis police have assigned the case to the sex crimes division.

Crime alerts are a joint effort between the Minneapolis and University police departments, Johnson said.