Richfield man charged in attempted purse snatching that knocked out an older St. Paul woman

Updated: 3:20 p.m.

Authorities looking for a young man caught on surveillance video trying to rob an 81-year-old drug store customer didn’t have to go far: They say he was already in jail after being arrested in connection with a carjacking. 

Charges filed in Ramsey County against Isaiah Jamal Foster, 19, of Richfield, say his mother turned him in after watching surveillance video of the woman getting knocked to the ground as she walked into a Walgreen’s store near St. Paul’s Como Park on Dec. 23.

The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office said the woman suffered a concussion, a subdural hematoma and a broken pelvis from the fall as the would-be robber pulled at her purse from behind, yanking her off her feet by the purse strap police say was wrapped around her wrist. 

Foster’s mother told police she’d prayed about the incident, and was reluctant to turn her son in, but decided it was the right thing to do. She said she recognized the coat he was wearing in the store video, given to him by his grandmother. Police said the coat in the video also matched the one Foster was wearing when he was taken into custody in Minneapolis in connection with a St. Paul carjacking on Tuesday.

A car with an open passenger door sits in a snow bank.
A BWM SUV that Ramsey County Sheriff's Office said was carjacked at gunpoint in St. Paul as the woman who owned it was pulling her toddler out of a car seat on Tuesday. The vehicle was recovered after authorities tracked it down in north Minneapolis.
Courtesy of Ramsey County Sheriff's Office

Police believe a group of people followed a woman home from shopping, confronted her with a gun in her garage and then tried to take her BMW SUV as her 2-year-old was strapped into the car seat. The mother managed to free the child before they drove off. 

The alleged carjacking set off a search across the Twin Cities. Police first spotted the vehicle near the U of M, where they said a robbery was reported. They apprehended a 17-year-old who ran from the vehicle. 

Police later tracked the SUV to north Minneapolis, where two more suspects, including Foster, were arrested when officers stopped the vehicle. 

Prosecutors charged Foster with first-degree attempted aggravated robbery and third-degree assault, and say they’re weighing charges in connection with the carjacking. 

Correction (Dec. 30, 2021): A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the charges. The story above has been updated.

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