MPD releases photos of Chicago Avenue sexual assault suspect; suspect arrested [UPDATE]

The MPD released these photos of a sexual assault suspect (click to enlarge).
The MPD released these photos of a sexual assault suspect (click to enlarge).


This morning, the Minneapolis Police Department released photos of a man wanted in connection with an early Saturday morning sexual assault that took place at East 34th Street and Chicago Avenue.

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

The sexual assault happened after the victim and suspect exited a bus, and the photos appear to have been captured by a security camera during the trip from Downtown to South Minneapolis.

From an MPD press release:

Just after 3 a.m. that morning patrol officers in the Third Precinct responded to a report of a sexual assault. Responding officers were told by the 33 year-old female victim that she had been followed off of a bus and then sexually assaulted by a male unknown to her.

Investigators have recovered photographs of the male believed responsible for this assault. He is described as a black male, 30-40 years old, with a thin moustache and possible goatee. At the time of the incident he was wearing a skull or knit cap with a lighter colored design band around it and a dark colored puffy jacket.

Anyone who can identify this suspect or provide any other information about this case is asked to call Minneapolis Police Department Sex Crimes investigator, Sergeant Melissa Banham, at 612-673-2869 or [email protected]

This morning, a commenter left the following comment on yesterday's post about a string of three sexual assaults against women walking by themselves at night in Minneapolis (the post is linked above):

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.

Whether that account of the sexual assault is true or not, the comment provides good advice for people riding the bus by themselves late at night.

:::: UPDATE ::::

-- December 13, 1:57 p.m. -- Minneapolis police have arrested Kenneth Franklin Owens, 43, in connection with the Chicago Avenue sexual assault.

From an MPD press release:

This morning VCAT officers, acting on information from the Minneapolis Police Department Sex Crimes Unit, went to an address in the 500 block of Oliver Avenue North and located the suspect inside of a residence. He was arrested without incident for an outstanding Ramsey County misdemeanor warrant.

Lieutenant Nancy Dunlap, commander of the Sex Crimes Unit, stated that the information leading to the arrest of the suspect, Kenneth Franklin Owens, date of birth 5-16-1969, came from the release of suspect's photos yesterday and that tips started to come in from the public almost immediately.

Owens was booked later this morning into the Hennepin County Jail for Probable Cause Sexual Assault and the outstanding Ramsey County warrant.

Owens' mugshot hasn't been released.

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