St. Paul believe suspect is responsible for random assaults

St. Paul police believe the suspect involved in a series of random assaults was arrested over the weekend.

According to police, a man matching the description of the assailant was arrested for auto theft Sunday in Minneapolis. He was in custody in Hennepin County, but has since been released.

From Dec. 12 to Jan. 10, at least five people reported assaults in St. Paul's Merriam Park neighborhood. In all cases, the suspect was wearing a ski mask and was seen driving a light-blue or light-gray Subaru Outback.

In the first reports from December, a woman claimed a man with a bandana over his face pulled up, swore at her and then hurled a Gatorade bottle, hitting her in the face. 

In another incident from the same day on Dayton Avenue, an alleged victim described a similar suspect with a bandana over his face and a tear drop tattoo under his left eye. In that incident, the suspect allegedly took a swing with what appeared to be a wrench and struck the victim in the face.

The final police report from this alleged spree came in on Jan. 10 in an alley off Wellesley Avenue. A resident on the block told investigators he was threatened by a man wielding a metal pipe and another eyewitness reported the suspect was wearing a ski mask.

While he was arrested over the weekend, law enforcement conceeded that, without better evidence, it's going to be hard to file charges in the case.