A 24-year-old teacher suffered a stab wound in a seemingly random attack Tuesday as she led a group of children from a park to a nearby school.
The incident happened at about 3 p.m. near the intersection of Folwell Drive and 18th Avenue Southwest. A man, later apprehended by police, crossed a street, approached and attacked the group, including the woman and a "small number" of children.
The teacher protected the children and took the brunt of the assault, according to an official account of the incident. She was stabbed one time in the back with a scissors.
An initial police report identified the woman as a Rochester Public Schools staff member, but it was later determined that she and the students are from the Rochester Arts and Science Academy, according to Lt. Mike Sadauskis, of the Rochester Police Department. The school is at 974 Skyline Drive SW.
The woman, a fourth-grade teacher at the school, was walking with the children from a nearby park. She told police she saw the attacker walking on the other side of the street, acting strangely. One witness described the man as “punching the air.”
The teacher tried to take the students in the opposite direction, Sadauskis said.
The suspect then crossed the street to follow the woman and the children. He approached them and began swinging his arms and a bag he was carrying. The woman put herself between the man and the children. That’s when the man came up behind her and allegedly stabbed her, Sadauskis said.
The woman was taken to Saint Marys Hospital by Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service with non-life threatening injuries. She had a puncture wound in her upper back, Sadauskis said. Police at the scene said she was ambulatory throughout the incident and assisted officers when they arrived.
The suspect fled on foot and at one time was spotted running south on U.S. Highway 52 toward 12th Street Southwest. Folwell school was under lockdown for about 20 minutes while police searched for the suspect.
He was found at about 3:15 p.m. by an Olmsted County Sheriff's deputy in the 600 block of Memorial Parkway Southwest and taken into custody without incident. Officers found a pair of long, pointed scissors in the man’s waistband. The victim positively identified the man as her attacker.
The suspect is identified as David Daniel Galvan, 28. Galvan does not have a permanent address, but has had numerous contacts — 16 this year and 10 in 2018 — with the Rochester police, according to police. Galvan is being held at the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center, and will likely be arraigned on Thursday.
Last month, Galvan was arrested after allegedly kicking down the door of an 87-year-old woman's home and then barricading himself in her bedroom.
Rochester Public Schools spokeswoman Heather Nessler said the incident was not directly related to Folwell and that staff and students remained in the building for about 20 minutes during the incident. School dismissed at the regular time, she said. She referred other questions about the incident to police.