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Teen Assaults 77-Year-Old St. Paul Man In Front Of His Home

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- St. Paul police are asking for the public's help in finding a teen caught on camera assaulting a man Tuesday.

Patrick Tobin, 77, was heading up the stairs to his home on Farrington Street when he was attacked from behind. He is bruised and shaken, but expected to heal from his wounds.

Aaron Jacobs got an alert on his phone from his Nest surveillance camera above his garage while he was out on a painting job. It notified him of activity on his driveway.

"I don't usually look at it, but at this time I swiped the screen and opened it up, and I witnessed live what happened," Aaron said.

It showed someone in an orange hoodie following Patrick, the grandfather of Aaron's daughter, who typically watches her until Aaron gets off work.

St. Paul Assault Burglary
(credit: St. Paul Police)

Suddenly, the person in the hoodie -- who police believe to be a teenager -- goes for Patrick's wallet as he was walking up the home's front steps. When the teenager pulls the wallet, Patrick struggles with him and then falls down the steps. Aaron said Patrick busted his head open when he hit the ground, splattering blood on the driveway. Aaron could hear Patrick's screams through the surveillance video on his phone.

The teenager ran to the edge of the driveway, escaping on a rented scooter. Meanwhile, the video shows the house door opening. It was 10-year-old Alena Jacobs, who witnessed the attack with her friend.

"It was scary when we seen him like get like pulled down and then his screams was like really sad," Alena said.

As he rushed home, Alena was calling 911.

"She was crying and hiding in our closet with a steak knife," Aaron said.

Alena said she ended the call when the dispatcher told her that her grandfather had also called 911. She came outside once police arrived.

"It's traumatizing. What do you tell your daughter when something like this happens right outside your back door?" Aaron said. "You have go into the explanation of, 'There's people in this world that aren't nice,' and it's pretty tough to explain to a 10 year old."

Aaron said Patrick got needed stiches for the cut on his head and also chipped a tooth. The wounds will heal, but his family's fear remains.

"I hope they throw the book at this guy. I hope they catch him. Can't miss him, bright orange sweatshirt, bright orange shoes," Aaron said.

The young man responsible for this attack is about 5-feet-8-inches tall with a thin build. Anyone with information is asked to call St. Paul police or 911.

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