Help police end the strange case of the St. Paul Slapper


Watch out, St. Paul. A man is driving around and pulling over his car in order to approach and assault random strangers.

At least five people have been victimized since December 12, at which point the man was driving a grey Toyota Tacoma. Lately he's been seen in a blue or light grey Subaru Outback (pictured above) with stolen plates. 

Victims have been slapped in the face, hit with a wrench, and had Gatorade bottles thrown at them, according to St. Paul Police spokesman Steve Linders, who concedes this is a new one for the cops.

"We have road rage incidents from time to time," Linders says. "And we have fights that break out and assaults that occur. But we've never had one person driving around randomly throwing things and slapping people. We've never encountered that in my time."

No one's been seriously injured by this man, but that doesn't mean he's not a danger to the community. Since posting the story of the St. Paul Slapper to social media a couple days ago, Linders isn't aware of any solid tips, which is curious, as the man has a distinctive look: a blue teardrop tattoo under his left eye.

He's white, in his 30s, heavy-set (above 200 pounds) and wears a ski mask as he does his crimes. He's also damaged vehicles during his rampage.

Linders says this is hardly "The Crime of the Century," but that this man's erratic and violent behavior cannot be allowed to continue. 

"You just can't drive around St. Paul throwing things and slapping people, and hitting them with wrenches," Linders says. "It's a weird situation."

Clearly something's going on with this man's mentality, and Linders says St. Paul's police could help both the assailant and the community by getting him off the streets. 

"It's important we find out what's going on," Linders says. "He might need help, and that's something we could help arrange with our mental health unit. Of course, we also want to hold him accountable for his actions."

Anyone who sees a man matching that description should call 911 immediately and let police know his whereabouts. And anyone living in or visiting St. Paul should keep an eye out for an approaching stranger with a teardrop tattoo and wearing a ski mask.