ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — A 76-year-old man is recovering from a severe beating after giving a stranger a ride in St. Paul Thursday night.

Police say the attacker is shown on surveillance video stealing a soda from a gas station on University Avenue and Chatsworth Street at about 10:30 p.m.

He asks the victim for a ride a short time later.

“The suspect claimed to be new to the area and didn’t have any money and asked for a ride,” St. Paul Police Sgt. Mike Ernster said.

The stranger told the man to drive a few blocks away to LaFond Avenue and Milton Street.

Sgt. Ernster said when the car stopped, the robber lured the man out.

(credit: St. Paul Police Dept.)

(credit: St. Paul Police Dept.)

“He explained to the victim that his door wasn’t working. The victim got out, went to the passenger’s side and opened the suspect’s door up for him to get out of the car,” Ernster said.

He said that is when the stranger suddenly attacked the man from behind. He knocked him down, and then took his coat, wallet and cellphone.

He left him lying in front of his car with a broken leg and a broken wrist, and no way of calling for help.

“Somebody that’s trying to do a St. Paul thing of giving a guy that’s down on his luck maybe a ride, somebody that’s new to town. You want to show him that ‘Minnesota Nice’ and give him that ride and he takes advantage of it by luring the victim to his side of the car to rob him,” Ernster said. “That’s infuriating.”

Police said a neighbor eventually saw the victim in the street and called 911.

He has had a couple surgeries and is in stable condition at Regions Hospital.

Anyone with information about the suspect is urged to contact St. Paul Police at 651-266-5650.

John Lauritsen