Girl sexually assaulted at Powderhorn Park, suspect in custody

A girl was sexually assaulted by a man at Powderhorn Park over the weekend.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board confirmed a female juvenile victim was sexually assaulted Saturday night at the Powderhorn homeless encampment.

A Metro Transit squad was flagged down on a call involving the victim and suspect Sunday afternoon. After further questioning, authorities say the victim reported the assault.

The victim was taken to a hospital. The suspect is in custody.

MPRB said it’s the third reported sexual assault at the Powderhorn encampment.

Powderhorn Park is the largest homeless encampment in Minneapolis this summer. Parks officials said there were 400 tents set up there at last count.

During a Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board meeting on July 1st, Park Police Chief Jason Ohotto voiced concerns about a spike in violent crime at the encampment.

"The last two weeks have been extraordinary and unlike any time that I’ve served as a police officer for this park system," Chief Ohotto said.

He noted the parks are not designed for human habitation and described various incidents over the past few weeks, including drug overdoses and assaults.

Chief Ohotto said in the first half of June, there were 15, 911 calls in the Powderhorn Park area. As the encampment grew in the second half of the month, the number of 911 calls tripled.

"I urge you to start considering and taking action that will help restore order across the park," Chief Ohotto said to commissioners.