ST.. PAUL, Minn. - Investigators are looking into whether two separate attacks on women at or near Como Regional Park are the work of the same suspects.
The incidents took place Wednesday, October 18. In the first one, a 28-year-old woman was walking near Como Avenue and Lexington Parkway when a man approached from behind and sprayed her in the face with a chemical irritant. He pushed her on the ground, took her phone and began rubbing his groin on her in a sexual manner. He attempted to pull down the victim's pants but failed to do so.
The victim told officers he also groped her as the assault continued. Eventually the woman fought back and was able to punch her attacker in the face. He gave her phone back, then ran off with two men who didn't participate in the incident.
About a half hour later three men approached a woman walking around Como Lake just south of the Pavilion. One grabbed her by the hair, sprayed her with chemicals and attempted to steal her backpack. She screamed for help and the suspects fled down the walking path.
The attacker in the first incident is described as dark skinned, and all three are said to be in their late teens or early twenties.