Charges dropped in attempted robbery, assault of elderly woman in St. Paul

Aggravated robbery charges against a 19-year-old Richfield man have been dropped, after authorities said evidence shows he was not in St. Paul when an elderly drug store customer was badly injured in an attempted purse snatching.

Isaiah Jamal Foster was charged in December in Ramsey County. Video showed a suspect grabbing an 81-year-old woman's purse and knocking her to the ground as she walked into a Walgreens store near Como Park on Dec. 23.

The victim was knocked unconscious and suffered a broken pelvis.

Authorities said Foster's mother later identified him to police, believing her son was involved, although video showed the suspect wearing a mask. Foster was in jail at the time, arrested in connection with a separate carjacking.

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But authorities and court documents now say cell phone data and video footage puts Foster in Bloomington at the time of the drug store assault, and Foster's mother recanted her earlier statement identifying the suspect as her son.

The charges against Foster in connection with the St. Paul robbery were dismissed earlier this month after prosecutors said they cannot prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Foster was not charged in the carjacking. He still faces other aggravated robbery charges, connected to a string of separate robberies in Hennepin County.

Ramsey County authorities said the investigation into the St. Paul robbery remains open.

“If any new information about this horrific incident comes to light, we will update the public,” Ramsey County Attorney's Office spokesperson Dennis Gerhardstein said.