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Good Samaritan assaulted in parking lot

A 39-year-old woman is in custody today after police say she attempted to carjack a Rochester woman who was trying to help her.

The incident began about 12:30 p.m., when the suspect waved down a 23-year-old woman at People's Food Co-op, asked for a ride to Winona and offered to pay her $300.

The woman declined, but offered to take her to Walmart South, 25 25th St. SE, the report says. Instead, the two ended up in the parking lot of Savers, at 1201 Broadway Ave., where the victim tried to drop the woman off.

The suspect tried to pull the keys from the ignition, said Capt. John Sherwin, eventually pulling off every key except the one in the ignition. She ordered the victim out of the car, spraying her with something in a black canister.

Both women got out of the vehicle, and the victim was sprayed again, Sherwin said. The suspect got into the driver's seat, but was unable to start the vehicle because it wasn't in park, the report says.


Several people witnessed the altercation, Sherwin said, and the victim was calling for help, but no one intervened.

The suspect fled, but officers were in the area quickly, and found her in the Hy-Vee parking lot at 500 Crossroads Drive SW.

Two cans of hairspray were also located, and the victim confirmed she believed that was what she'd been sprayed with. No injuries were reported.

The Post-Bulletin typically doesn't identify suspects until they've been charged.

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