Police developing sketch of suspect in U sexual assaults

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The Star Tribune reported that Minneapolis police are working on a composite sketch of a suspect who may be responsible for two sexual assaults on women last Saturday near the University of Minnesota and in Fridley. The incidents, which happened just hours apart, involved a man who posed as a police officer while driving a dark colored SUV.

Police are trying to determine if the same suspect is involved in a third incident early Wednesday. KSTP reported a woman was approached by two men in a dark blue sedan as she walked alone on University Avenue near TCF Bank Stadium just after midnight. She said two men tried to abduct her. The woman told police that she used pepper spray on one of the men, who threw her to the ground and used it on her. She said that he fled when she screamed.

Police spokeswoman Cyndi Barrington told the newspaper that while it's too early to connect this incident with the two earlier ones, investigators are comparing the attacks.

WCCO reported that in Wednesday’s incident, the car’s passenger was described as black, with a medium complexion, 20 to 25 years old, about 6 foot 2 to 6 foot 4, with a medium build. He wore a black knit stocking cap and a black puffy jacket. The woman didn't see the second man well enough to provide a description.

Minneapolis police described the suspect from the first university attack as black, 23 to 27 years old, with short hair or a shaved head, and a neatly trimmed chin-strap-style beard. In the Fridley case, the suspect was described as black, about 6 feet tall, 190 pounds, with a thin beard, wearing a dark cap, sweatshirt, sunglasses and jeans.

Campus police recently increased patrols due to a rising concern about crime. Two students have gathered some 3,000 signatures in an online petition that seeks additional U of M police patrols and better campus lighting.

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