2nd reported sexual assault by officer impersonator in Fridley - New York News

Fridley police investigate 2nd sexual assault by officer impersonator

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FRIDLEY, Minn. (KMSP) -

Just one day after University of Minnesota police issued a crime alert warning that a student was sexually assaulted by a man impersonating a badged official, Fridley police announced a similar crime occurred just hours before in that community. 

According to Fridley police, a woman from Minneapolis was walking to her vehicle, which was parked in the 6400 block of 5th Street NE at about 1 p.m. on Saturday when a man who identified himself as a police officer kidnapped her, sexually assaulted her and then released her.

The brazen, broad-daylight abduction is not the only indicator of how bold the perpetrator is. The location of the assault occurred on the same block as Fridley City Hall.

The Fridley Police Department is urging anyone with information regarding the assault to contact the Anoka County Sheriff's Office at 763-427-1212.

Police said case is strikingly similar to the report a University of Minnesota student filed on Sunday -- just a little more than 12 hours after, and 8 miles from, the Fridley assault. Police believe the same man is responsible for both attacks, and they believe he will attempt to rape again.

Minneapolis police took the student's report a little more than 12 hours after the Fridley report. The victim told police a man in a dark SUV and wearing a badge slowed to talk to her as she walked along 15th Avenue SE, telling her it wasn't safe to walk alone and offering her a ride home.

The 19-year-old student believed him to be an officer and accepted the ride, but once she was inside the vehicle, the suspect then locked the doors, drove to a remote location and sexually assaulted her.

SUSPECT DETAILS

The suspect description in both cases are remarkably similar, describing a black man with a thin beard driving a smaller, dark SUV, standing about 6 feet tall with a medium build. The Fridley victim estimated his weight at 190 pounds.

The student victim estimated the suspect's age as between 23 and 27, and said his hair was either cropped short or shaven. The Fridley victim reported her attacker was wearing a dark cap at the time of her assault.

In Fridley, the suspect was seen wearing a dark sweatshirt, dark sunglasses and blue jeans as well as the hat. The student reported her attacker wore a dark jacket with a badge on it, dark pants and a security- or police-style duty belt.

The suspect's vehicle is also reported to have a dark interior and a computer screen in the center console.

HOW TO CONFIRM A COP'S IDENTITY

Both the Minneapolis Police Department and the Anoka County Sheriff's Office stress that anyone who wishes to confirm an officer's identity can do so at any time by calling 911 and asking a dispatcher to do one or both of the following:

- Verify the officer's identity immediately over the phone
- Ask dispatch to send a uniformed officer

Any real police officer will identify the name of the law enforcement agency they work for and will carry both a badge and identification credentials. Members of the public may ask to see those credentials at any time, regardless of whether the officer is in plain clothes or an unmarked vehicle.

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