Police determine two November sexual assaults unrelated

In both cases, the suspect appeared to be dressed as a police officer.

Nicholas Studenski

Minneapolis police have determined the two sexual assaults in late November are not connected, according to an email statement Minneapolis police Public Information Officer Cyndi Barrington sent Thursday. Police previously believed the two incidents were related since the suspect appeared to be dressed as a police officer in both cases.

One incident occurred near the University of Minnesota campus Nov. 24 in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood. A University student was walking alone at about 2:15 a.m. near the intersection of 15th Avenue Southeast and Eighth Street Southeast when a black SUV approached her, according to a previous Minnesota Daily story.

The man driving the SUV appeared to be a police officer, Minneapolis police Cmdr. Bruce Folkens of the Special Crimes Investigations Division said at the press conference after the incident.

The man slowed the car to talk to the student, warned her against walking alone and offered her a ride. When she got in, he locked the doors and drove her somewhere west of Interstate 35-W and sexually assaulted her.

Soon after the incident, Minneapolis police announced they were investigating a possible connection with a similar crime that occurred in Fridley, Minn. at around 1 p.m. on Nov. 23. The victim in that incident told police she was walking to her car alone when a man allegedly drove up and identified himself as a police officer before kidnapping and sexually assaulting her.

Folkens said after the incident that police had “several leads” but hadn’t made any arrests in the Minneapolis case yet. In the statement sent Thursday, Barrington said the Minneapolis case is an ongoing investigation and that police are waiting for a result on evidence that the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is testing.

 

–The Associated Press contributed to this story.