Justin Kaneakua, 38, was arrested in Minneapolis on Monday on suspicion of stealing a car.
The car, a black Subaru Outback, matches the description of one used in a series of bizarre incidents in St. Paul, where a man has been approaching and slapping random strangers on the streets. He has also thrown things and struck victims with a wrench.
Kaneakua also matches the description of the perpetrator in those cases: He's heavy-set and, more importantly, has a blue teardrop tattoo under one of his eyes.
The case put some St. Paul residents on high alert, and police had called for anyone who saw anyone fitting that description to immediately dial 911.
Minneapolis Police were unaware of any random slapping incidents happening in that city. St. Paul Police, who've received five reports of assaults since December, were quickly alerted that a man matching the description of the assailant was in jail in the neighboring town. (Kaneakua remains in custody.)
Kaneakua has a long rap sheet of crimes, with convictions for assault, hit-and-run, terroristic threats, domestic violence, and two separate instances of aggravated robbery.
St. Paul Police are investigating Kaneakua's possible connection to the random assaults in that city.