Minneapolis/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 23, 2024
Minneapolis Police Arrest Suspect in Targeted Mosque Hit-and-Run, Investigating as Potential Bias CrimeSource: Facebook/Minneapolis Police Department

The manhunt for the south Minneapolis mosque hit-and-run suspect came to a close yesterday evening as Minneapolis Police nabbed 37-year-old James Evan Suttles in a no-drama takedown. Police Chief Brian O’Hara hailed the arrest as a "swift and strong response", noting how the swift apprehension was bound to allay community fears. "Within hours, this suspect was in custody, and that will help put our community at ease," O’Hara told the public in a statement obtained by Minneapolis Police Department’s news release.

The incident that kicked the search into high gear took place on May 22nd when a 36-year-old man was mowed down by a minivan while he collected items from his car in the mosque's parking lot. Police describe the vehicle, a 2002 Silver Windstar minivan with Minnesota license ESL101, was allegedly driven by Suttles who is said to have struck the victim deliberately, after which he fled the scene. The victim's injuries were serious, but not life-threatening and he was promptly treated at Hennepin Healthcare. Suttles, a light-complected black male wearing a brown shirt and black glasses at the time of the attack, already had a reputation for erratic behavior around the mosque and neighborhood.

The Minneapolis Police Department is not taking the attack lightly, probing into it as a potential Bias Crime. According to Chief O’Hara, "Based on the information gathered by our investigators so far, I am concerned that this crime may have been motivated by bias," emphasizing the particular severity associated with hate crimes. Department has made strides to reassure the community, with enhanced police patrols and open communication lines with the mosque's Imam and staff, along with community leaders.

With the suspect now in custody, community members can breathe a relative sigh of relief. The Minneapolis Police haven’t let up, encouraging anyone with additional information on the case to reach out to CrimeStoppers. The generous offer stands; a financial reward might be in the cards for info that leads to a conviction. The incident, marked under GO# 24-138074, isn’t far from thoughts, with city officials and civilians alike hoping that such crimes find no root in their streets.