Elliot Park attacks trigger city crime alert

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August 2, 2010 // UPDATED 3:21 pm - August 12, 2010
By: Gregory J. Scott
Gregory J. Scott
Minneapolis police have issued a crime report outlining an “emerging pattern” for a recent spat of attacks in the Elliot Park neighborhood.

According to the report, women walking alone near the intersections of 14th Street South and Portland and Chicago Avenues have been approached from behind, robbed and sexually assaulted. Police have little information about the suspect, saying only that he is described as a black male.

The investigation is ongoing. The crime report urges anyone with further information to contact MPD sex crimes investigator Sgt. David Matson at 673-2358.

The report also offers the following safety tips:

·        At night, try to stay on well-lighted streets.  Avoid doorways, shrubbery, dark shadows near buildings, and other potential hiding places.

·        While out walking or jogging, stay aware of your surroundings.  Look alert and confident.  Make quick eye contact with people around you.

·        Avoid going out alone.  If possible, walk with a friend or co-worker.  Two people together are much less likely to be targeted by an attacker than one person alone.

·        If you are being followed on foot, turn around and look at the person following you.  This gives you time to think and lets the person know that you are aware of him.  Walk quickly to the nearest public place where there are other people.

·        If you are confronted by an attacker, FIGHT BACK.  If possible try to make a make a mental note any of his hair, eyes, eyebrows, nose, facial hair, mouth, voice, breath, age, height or build.   

·        Call 911 immediately and write down everything you can remember about the attacker.  This will aid in giving us an accurate description of the suspect.