Public safety notes

Lake Harriet jogger assaulted

Police are asking for the public’s help to find a man who allegedly assaulted a jogger near Lake Harriet.

On Oct. 25 around 6:15 a.m., a woman jogging on the lake trail near 44th and 45th streets heard someone approach behind her. She assumed it was another jogger, but a man restrained her and reached between her legs. When other joggers appeared moments later, the man fled.

He’s described as a white male between 20 and 30 years old. He was wearing dark clothes and a beanie hat at the time of the incident. He drove away in an older red sports car with unspecified damage that had been repaired, police said.

Police believe it was an isolated incident and had no immediate leads.

Tom Thompson, a Minneapolis Police Department crime-prevention specialist in Southwest, said such an incident is “exceptionally rare,” particularly so given both the sexual intent and the time of day, and couldn’t remember a similar one in his three years on the job.

Thompson said the best prevention is for trail users to be aware of their surroundings and not be afraid to check over their shoulders if they suspect someone is close behind them.

“If you get that sixth sense and something doesn’t feel right, take some precautions,” he said.

Anyone with tips or more information is encouraged to call the city’s tip line at 692-8477.

Man dies in fiery I-35W crash

A Minneapolis man died Oct. 25 after crashing in the I-35W construction area near 46th Street.

Jose Joel Guerra, 33, was driving a 1991 Buick Regal on Stevens Avenue in the early hours of Oct. 25 when he crashed through construction barriers that were blocking the 46th Street entrance ramp, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

The car careened onto a closed section of the interstate and started on fire. Guerra—who was also known as Jorge Sandoval—died at the scene of smoke- and heat-related injuries.

It isn’t clear when the incident happened. Guerra and the car were discovered around 5:30 a.m.

Police looking into luring incident

Police are searching for a man who allegedly tried to lure a young girl into a vehicle in the Lynnhurst neighborhood Oct. 25.

According to police:

Around 3:45 that afternoon, a man in a black, older-model car pulled up to an 11-year-old girl and her 10-year-old friend who were in a front yard on the 5100 block of Bryant Avenue South.

The man asked for directions to I-35W. The 11-year-old girl said she couldn’t help. The man told the girl they should search together and asked her to get in his car. She said no. The man then tried to get both children to get into his car, and they both repeatedly said no. Eventually the man drove away.

The man is described as a black male between 30 and 40 years old with a fuzzy mustache, short wavy hair and two gold teeth, one each in the upper left and lower right corners of his mouth. He spoke with an accent.

Anyone with more information or questions should contact Amy Lavender, a Minneapolis Police Department crime-prevention specialist in Southwest, at 673.5407 or [email protected]

Motorcyclist killed in Linden Hills

A motorcyclist died Oct. 19 after crashing into a car in the Linden Hills neighborhood.

Amos Louis Sims III, 39, of Minneapolis, was riding his motorcycle at the intersection of 46th Street and Upton Avenue South at 6:30 p.m. when he rode into the back of a car. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a helmet, police said, and speed was a factor in the incident.

The other driver was not injured. Sgt. William Palmer, a Minneapolis Police Department spokesman, said a preliminary investigation determined Sims was at fault. No charges are expected.

Death no longer considered homicide

A death on the 3600 block of Nicollet Avenue South that was initially announced and investigated as a possible homicide will now likely be ruled as a death by natural causes.

According to police, officers responded around 8 a.m. on Oct. 16 to a report of an unwanted person in an apartment. When they arrived, they found the body of an adult male inside the dwelling.

That morning, police said evidence at the scene suggested a homicide; later that afternoon, they retracted the claim.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office will make a final determination on the death.

Help your GPS help you

Police are warning Minneapolis residents to lock up or hide their GPS systems, following a recent citywide spate of thefts of the devices.

Police suggest all the traditional ways to avoid theft from cars—keep the GPS out of sight, close your windows and lock your doors, and take it with you or lock it in your trunk when you leave your vehicle.

They also suggest wiping away windshield marks that GPS suction cups leave, to prevent thieves from assuming the device is hidden somewhere in the car.