A suspect who has become known as the “I-94 exposer” was arrested Tuesday evening, Nov. 9, thanks to quick reports by St. Thomas students and the search and apprehension by officers from St. Thomas Public Safety and St. Paul Police Department.
The suspect, a 31-year-old male who moved to the Twin Cities from North Dakota, was involved that evening in two indecent-exposure incidents that took place in the alley behind 2175 Grand Ave. (near Cretin Avenue) and in Lot G, behind O’Shaughnessy Educational Center.
The incidents were similar to those that have been reported earlier: the suspect would drive alongside a female and ask for directions to I-94 while exposing himself and masturbating.
St. Thomas students who witnessed the incidents Tuesday immediately contacted the St. Thomas Public Safety office. Sergeant Justin James and Officer Jason Colvin responded and checked the campus and surrounding neighborhoods. Colvin spotted the suspect driving his teal Ford Escort near Cleveland and Lincoln avenues. Colvin followed the car until St. Paul Police stopped and arrested the driver.
The arrest ends an eight-month investigation and search for the suspect. There were 12 reported indecent-exposure incidents reported to St. Thomas Public Safety since last March. Since then the department issued six Security Alerts advising the community of the exposures and updating descriptions of the suspect.
“We in the department would like to commend all students, faculty and staff who have immediately reported this crime and/or suspicious activity on or around campus,” noted Brock Rasmussen, manager of investigations.
“St. Thomas has become a safer place to learn, live and work. The key to catching this criminal and others has been the immediate reporting to Public Safety, and attention to detail while the crime or suspicious activity is happening.
“This incident, and others, demonstrates our community’s willingness to take a proactive role in preventing crime,” Rasmussen said.