Woman sexually assaulted after exiting bus on Chicago Ave.; third incident in three weeks

Categories: Crime, Scary
walking woman.jpeg
pat00139 on Flickr
Since mid-November, there's been a string of sex assaults against women walking by themselves in Minneapolis.
Early Saturday morning, a woman was sexually assaulted after exiting a bus at East 34th Street and Chicago Avenue. The incident was the third reported sexual assault against a woman walking by herself at night in the last three weeks.

SEE ALSO:
-- Guns make you safer? Minneapolis gun permit holder robbed with own pistol
-- Whatever happened to the downtown Minneapolis mobs that beat people senselessly?


The first incident occurred around 7 a.m. on November 19, when a St. Kate's student was dragged into the woods in Riverside Park and sexually assaulted. Louis Oliver, 48, was later arrested in connection with that incident.

The second incident occurred just hours earlier that same morning of November 19 when a 26-year-old woman was assaulted while walking along Stevens Square Park. That incident remains unsolved.

MPD Sergeant Stephen McCarty told the Star Tribune that "it is too early to tell if [the Chicago Avenue and Stevens Square] attacks were committed by the same person," adding that "Of course, the Sex Crimes Unit is looking at that aspect."

The Strib also provides some details about the Saturday morning Chicago Avenue assault:
[After the victim got off the bus], [t]he man grabbed and dragged her into a secluded area, then sexually assaulted her, police said. He also stole the woman's cell phone and jacket, which had other items in it, police added.

The woman told authorities that she believes her attacker followed her from downtown.

The suspect is described as a dark-complexioned black man, 30 to 40 years old, 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches tall, with a thin build. He was wearing a puffy black jacket. Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact police Sgt. Melissa Banham at 612-673-2869.
The MPD advises women to avoid traveling alone after dark. If you have no choice, women are advised to stay away from isolated areas and be vigilant of anyone who might be following behind. It seems like good advice for men, too.

"Do you what you need to survive," an MPD crime issued after the Saturday morning incident says. "Your single most effective weapon is your own judgment."

My Voice Nation Help
21 comments
swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

There's a lot more to this attack than what's reported in this story.  

The victim had been at The Gay 90's until around closing time Saturday night.  She was initially attacked by the perpetrator at the #5 bus stop downtown (probably 8th St. and Hennepin) before the #5 bus got there.  He had probably already targeted her at the bar, though the various versions of the story don't indicate this.  She boarded the #5, and the attacker ran down 8th St. and got on the bus a couple stops down.  She called a friend, who was out of town.  The friend called her husband, who was in town, and went to the stop where the victim would get off the bus (34th St. & Chicago Ave.).  At some point, the perpetrator took the victim's coat and cell phone.  When the friend (who was out of town) called the victim back on the cell phone, the perpetrator answered and told the friend the victim couldn't talk because she was too drunk.  

When the friend's husband arrived at 34th St. and Chicago, the bus had already stopped there; the woman had already gotten off the bus, and the rape had already taken place in the parking lot of the daycare canter across the street from the bus stop.  The attacker was gone and the victim was frantic and distraught.  The husband took the victim to the hospital and assisted in every way he could.

I know that area very well because I used to live 3 blocks from that spot.  I've ridden that bus, at that time of night.  I don't understand why the victim got off the bus at all.  She saw the man who had already assaulted her, on the bus.  There's no excuse or mitigation of the fact that the man is a violent, dangerous rapist who needs to be stopped.  But I did use this awful incident to talk to my early-teen daughter about how to handle a situation like this on the bus.  Don't get off the bus.  Go up to the front and sit next to the bus driver, and tell the bus driver that the man in back has already attacked you and is following you and has your coat and cell phone.  Do Not Get Off The Bus.  If she had been carrying a gun or pepper spray it would probably have been in the coat the attacker had already taken.  No help.  But the bus driver has a direct line to the cops.  If nothing else, you ride the length of the #5 route, next to the driver.  Or the driver calls the cops to meet the bus a few stops up the route.

This was a terrible attack.  Men shouldn't attack anybody, including women, but the fact is that a few of them do.  Everybody, including women, need to have an idea in mind beforehand of how to handle these situations.

Michelle Glass
Michelle Glass

I'm always the first one to beat up on City Pages, because they usually deserve it. However, where are you seeing them imply that the victim asked for it?

Michelle Glass
Michelle Glass

How stupid. Do you really think that someone who would do this would give a s**t that City Pages might admonish them? Secondly, this publication virtually promotes the victimization of women and children.

Kathie Carlson
Kathie Carlson

Maybe at a young age parents could teach their kids that attacking some one is not ok, and maybe we should start teaching girls it kick some butt, (sarcasm) i conceal and carry - parents need to raise kids right or be responsible,

Casey Noel Swanson
Casey Noel Swanson

I think it's a little easier to get through to women than the people doing the assaulting....no duh if someone is walking alone, unarmed, listening to headphones, etc, they are putting themselves at risk! Quit with the feminist stuff and help spread the word that women (and men) should be careful! There will always be crime, we need to know how to protect ourselves.

Dana Elyse Nicole Maher
Dana Elyse Nicole Maher

Fuck all that. City Pages, shame on you for the wording of this article. If only we could teach young men that raping people is wrong, rather than teaching young women to be afraid.

Elfy Fett
Elfy Fett

Shame on City Pages for the "It wouldn't happen if you didn't ask for it" mentality.

Meg Nathan
Meg Nathan

If you don't feel comfortable carrying/owning a gun...a sock filled with quarters makes a nice, solid "thunk" to your assailant's crotch!

Dee Finkelson
Dee Finkelson

get a gun! ( and avoid walk by urself in the dark at certain areas ).

Brie MacDougall
Brie MacDougall

"The MPD advises women to avoid traveling alone after dark. If you have no choice, women are advised to stay away from isolated areas and be vigilant of anyone who might be following behind." Yeah? That's their brilliant fucking advice? "Hey women, in case you weren't already paranoid enough about the dangers of owning a vagina. . . " How about we women just don't leave the house at all? That's surely safer, right?

Reanne Viken
Reanne Viken

Maybe next time the caption could read, "stop assaulting other people." You know, instead of putting all responsibility on the victims.

Sarah Allan
Sarah Allan

Or men can just stop assaulting woman. It's enough to make me want to carry a gun

stellabystarlite
stellabystarlite

@swmnguy If someone is in charge of monitoring theses comments, then please delete swmnguy's. it is completely inappropriate to suggest that a sexual assault is the victim's own fault rather than the attacker, not to mention he describes a lot of additional details and does not state his source for this information. Other sites are much smarter in not giving people a forum to share this kind of idiocy because inevitably the victim-shaming comes out. How dare you? The worst day of this woman's life and you want to make it worse by your cruel comment.

stellabystarlite
stellabystarlite

@Casey Noel Swanson A feminist is someone who believes in equality between the sexes. Qut believing in women's rights? If you're saying you don't believe in that, then you might as well be supporting these sexual criminals. Empowering women to be careful needn't go hand in hand with victim-blaming. Comments Iike these are completely inappropriate after an assault that has already happened!

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@stellabystarlite I anticipated a reaction like yours.

My sources were primarily the StarTribune, but also the Pioneer Press, and there was a great deal of televised coverage on KMSP, WCCO, KARE, and KSTP.  At least KSTP interviewed several of the individuals involved in trying to help the victim.  They identified those individuals by name and interviewed them on camera.

I'm not interested in having a philosophically pure, ideologically-driven debate here.  I live in this neighborhood and have for 20 years.  I have a 13 year-old daughter who rides the bus.  This vicious assault happend 10 blocks from our house.  Another, very similar, attack on a 16 year-old girl happened 4 blocks away several months ago.  This is not an abstract issue.  This is a very real menace which keeps reoccurring, right where I and my daughter (and wife and son) live.  

I'm not working on a Masters Thesis.  I'm trying to advise my daughter so she isn't victimized by the predators who are very real and riding on the bus looking for women to attack.

How would you advise your daughter in my place?  I'm not trying to belittle you.  Of course I am not "shaming the victim."  I'll let that absurdity pass.  Is it not a more constructive, practical--indeed Feminist--course to discuss the real nature of the situation and to work to address the very real dangers that are out there?

I'm raising a girl in this society.  This is real to me.  I can't simply work to build her self-esteem and discuss right and wrong and make scrupulously sure to say things that only blame the perpetrator.  I'll leave that to the philosophers.  I'm trying to give my daughter, and other women (and men; it happens to men too) a sense of perspective to realize when they are in danger and strategies to already have in mind to keep them from getting raped.  I'm hoping to avoid having to visit her in a hospital and pat her hand and say, "There, there; it wasn't your fault."  If that day comes, I'll do that and far, far more.  But I'd like to forestall that necessity.

What would you do?

stellabystarlite
stellabystarlite

@Casey Noel Swanson How about wishing the victim well, hoping for justice and that she takes care of herself, knowing that she is in our thoughts, etc? Sex crimes against women are so prevalent, and as you say, in sure ill never go away forever. How is it supposed to help to suggest at no matter where she was or he what she was doing at the time, she should have known better, or been more careful, etc.? People only say such things out of fear, to make themselves believe it could never happen to them because they are super careful. But really, even if it were some hyper-paranoid shut-in who lived in a panic room would get blamed if an intruder somehow got in, and people would say, "I would have been more careful and had had TWO deadbolts on that door." This is half of why we live such a rape-supported culture--not only are there dangerous people out there (usually they're people you know, not strangers out of nowhere, which is why this story made the news) but when someone does get attacked, the attacker is instantly supported and morally pardoned and the victim is shamed and humiliated. Grow up, Casey Noel Swanson.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@stellabystarlite I agree that "walking alone, unarmed, listening to headphones, etc." should be safe activities for anyone in our society.

To understand that this is not the case in the society we live in is not "supporting these sexual criminals."  As you say, " Empowering women to be careful needn't go hand in hand with victim-blaming."

We're all "wishing the victim well, hoping for justice and that she takes care of herself, knowing that she is in our thoughts, etc."The protective value of all those well-wishes in preventing the next rape in our neighborhoods is precisely nil.

We work toward the society we wish to live in.  We live, however, in the society we have.  We need to have a dual strategy.  First, educate people--all of us, not just women--on the issue.  Implement workable strategies to deal with the brutal realities that confront us every day.  Meanwhile, through these strategies, in the long term, we change society so this stops happening.

My son isn't going to rape people.  He's not a predator, and he knows too many rape victims, in our family, who have told their stories.  My mother is one.  Two of my sisters are others.  A couple of family friends.  My wife has worked in various rape crisis centers.  They all--every single one of them--are adamant that everyone; girls, women, boys, men; increase their protective awareness for themselves and others.  Not one of them takes the position that it's more important to be ideologically pure than physically safe.  So far from barricading oneself in one's house; boldly going out into society, being the change we all wish for, with assertive, present, awareness.  You see someone else going into danger; you intervene.  You make yourself visible.  You make the street unsafe for predators.  You make the streets safe places by your awareness and presence.

Feminism isn't a philosophical position.  It's a practical way of life that accounts for the dangers that really do exist and works to eliminate them for everyone.  You don't empower women with hopes and wishes.  You do it by living a plan.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...