MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Just more than two weeks after police say a racially motivated attack left a man with broken bones in his face, a suspect is behind bars. The victim was able to identify 59-year-old Steven Parker from a photo lineup after he was arrested for an unrelated robbery.
A criminal complaint details Parker stole items from a St. Paul Walgreens with his 18-year-son before heading about a mile and a half away to the Metropolitan State University campus on June 19. There, he’s accused of attacking a University employee who was sitting near a building after asking where he was from and why he was in the country.
The arrest means those close to Metro State can breathe a sigh of relief after the assault shook the community.
“It really was a shock to us all. We have a very safe campus. This is the first assault of its kind that we believe we’ve ever had,” said Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Finance and Operations Tracy Hatch.
In the wake of this incident, the university has conducted forums for faculty, staff and leadership for people to come together to voice their feelings. Security has also been reinforced.
“I just don’t want people to be afraid to come to our campus. Our university is an open campus and so we do welcome visitors and we do welcome folks from the community to be on campus,” Hatch said.
While those at the university will never forget what happened, community leaders say they can learn from it.
“I don’t know that there is a way that we can prevent this from happening, but we can definitely be more vigilant. We can certainly encourage our staff and faculty and students to be vigilant to watch and to support one another,” Hatch said.
Parker has been booked into the Ramsey County jail. His bail was set at $50,000.