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Man sitting on Mankato trail bench robbed, forced to hide in woods

(Mankato, MN) – Mankato police say a man was robbed of his cell phone while sitting on a trail bench.

Commander Dan Schisel said the man incident happened at about 10:30 p.m., when the man was sitting on a bench near a walking path near James Avenue, Val Imm Drive, and Fairfield Avenue.  The victim was listening to something on his cell phone when he was approached by the suspect, who told the man it wasn’t safe for him to be there.

Schisel said that at some point during the conversation, the suspect grabbed the victim’s earphones.

The suspect told the victim he was meeting another person there, but when a person came walking up from Val Imm, they walked by the scene without stopping.  Schisel said it could have been another suspect or a bystander.

The victim began to get nervous and started to leave the area, but the suspect apparently punched him.  Schisel said a small knife was also shown during the robbery but put it away during the encounter.  The victim then began to run away, said Schisel, using his phone for a flashlight.  The suspect took the phone from the victim and told him to stay in the woods, out of sight and that the phone would be left on the bench.

After an hour, the victim emerged from the woods and couldn’t find his phone.  He tried to map the phone without success, according to Schisel.

The victim didn’t want medical attention when he reported the incident at 12:25 a.m. the following morning.

The suspect is described as a white male, about 5′ 10″ – 6′ tall, with red hair and a goatee, weighing approximately 110 – 130 lbs.  He was wearing a gray hat, gray sweater, and blue jeans.

If caught, the suspect could face charges of simple robbery and assault.

The cell phone was valued at $500/

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