A man and woman from California, using a Bloomington hotel as their base of operations, were arrested in connection with a prostitution investigation.

The duo was arrested at Extended Stay America, 7956 Lyndale Ave., during the afternoon of Dec. 27.

The investigation and arrests were both delayed and aided by other police matters in the city, according to Bloomington Police Cmdr. Kevin Herman.

An on-duty officer was conducting a routine check of online prostitution advertising and found an ad promoting prostitution in Bloomington. A text message to the number listed in the ad resulted in a response, including photos, offering prostitution services at the hotel. The officer responded to the hotel and checked with the front desk to determine if there was a hotel guest that was engaged in suspicious activity. The officer identified a California woman registered to the hotel as a possible source of the text messages but did not visit the woman’s hotel room at the time, Herman said.

The officer exited the hotel and initiated a message exchange in response to a similar online ad, using a different phone. The officer received a similar response, directing him to the same hotel. He also noticed a man entering and exiting a red car while talking on his cellphone. The man drove off without entering the hotel, and the officer left to assist with another matter in the city, Herman noted.

When the officer returned to the hotel, he noticed the same man walking around the building, toward the parking lot of the neighboring bank, where his red car was now parked. The officer approached the man and questioned what he was doing at the hotel and why he had parked at the bank. After giving vague answers, the man acknowledged that he had visited a prostitute in the hotel and said he paid the same amount quoted in the text messages the officer received. The man also identified the room he had visited, which was the same room registered to the California woman, Herman explained. The man was not cited or detained at the scene, he noted.

The officer returned to the hotel’s front desk regarding the investigation, to which the hotel management asked for the occupants to be evicted. Officers went to the room and found a 38-year-old San Francisco woman inside. The woman spoke limited English, but with the help of a translation service, she denied having a male visitor. A check of her cellphone, however, showed that it had messages sent from the police department, resulting in her arrest on suspicion of prostitution, Herman said.

Another officer at the hotel searched the parking lot while the woman was being arrested. A black Lexus with a California license plate turned out to be associated with the San Francisco woman, and a man was sitting inside of it. He began to exit the vehicle as the officer approached and was detained. He said he was there waiting for his girlfriend, and that he was unable to reach her by cellphone. He said that they had been driving around the country and were on their way back to California, according to Herman.

When told the woman was being arrested for prostitution, the 33-year-old Sunnyvale, California, man acted surprised. He consented to a search of the vehicle, which turned up a BB gun and cash in the glove compartment, records showing multiple cash transfers, gas receipts from Georgia, a replica handgun, an expandable baton, multiple cellphones and the woman’s credit cards. The man was then arrested for promotion of prostitution, Herman said.

Domestic assaults

Ongoing issues between a 27-year-old Minneapolis man and his 29-year-old girlfriend resulted in his arrest on suspicion of domestic assault and strangulation following an incident at her Bloomington apartment.

The victim reported the incident during the evening of Dec. 25, which she said occurred on Dec. 22. She said that a confrontation occurred at her residence on the 10100 block of Stevens Avenue, following a family gathering. The victim reported her boyfriend hit her back and arm with his fist and choked her to the point of losing consciousness. She estimated the assault spanned 25 minutes, and when she regained consciousness she vomited, according to Herman.

The woman had a bruise on her arm and showed pictures of red marks on her neck, he noted.

Police officers were unable to contact him initially, and the woman reported that he showed up at her residence on Dec. 26. He did not enter her residence, but she feared that he would assault her again, Herman said.

Officers found him during the early morning hours of Dec. 27 and arrested him. Following his arrest, he said that he had to restrain his girlfriend during their Dec. 22 altercation, and that they both fell to the floor as a result. He said that she may have been injured by his knee as they fell to the floor, and reported that she had fallen on the ice the night prior, Herman noted.

But, based upon her injuries and the investigation, there was probable cause to arrest him on suspicion of assault, Herman explained.

A 25-year-old Minneapolis man was also arrested on suspicion of domestic assault after his 22-year-old girlfriend reported that she was hit and choked by him in her Bloomington apartment.

Police officers were dispatched to the 10700 block of Hampshire Avenue shortly after 12:30 a.m. Dec. 21. The victim had called the police from a neighbor’s apartment after fleeing her own apartment, where the suspect was found, according to Herman.

The woman said that her boyfriend was going to spend the night at her apartment and accused her of seeing other people. He became violent and grabbed her by the neck with both hands, saying he should kill her. He then threw the woman onto a coffee table. When she tried to leave, he reportedly shoved her into the door, injuring her arm. But, she was able to exit her apartment and run to a neighbor’s apartment, Herman explained.

Officers taking her report noted that the woman had red marks on her neck and a bruise on her arm prior to her being transported to a hospital, Herman noted.

The suspect was evasive in answering questions at the scene, claiming only to have pushed her in order to get past her to exit the apartment, according to Herman. His claims weren’t enough to avoid being arrested on suspicion of assault by strangulation.

Happy new year?

The happiness of the new year didn’t last long for a 26-year-old Minneapolis woman, who was arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired and hit-and-run following her departure from a Bloomington bar.

The woman was arrested at approximately 1:30 a.m. Jan. 1, following a report that she backed into a parked vehicle at Cowboy Jack’s, 2801 Southtown Drive. The woman was reported to have backed her blue 2015 Chevrolet Silverado into a red 2007 Silverado in the parking lot, then driving off. A bar security employee saw her drive off as a patrol officer was turning into the bar’s parking lot. The employee alerted the officer of the incident, and the officer departed in search of the blue Silverado, according to Herman.

The suspect had headed eastbound from Cowboy Jack’s, and the officer used the nearby Target parking lot to access Penn Avenue, where he spotted the Silverado turning east onto Interstate 494. The officer followed the truck, noted the driver was weaving and conducted a traffic stop on the exit ramp to Nicollet Avenue, Herman said.

The suspect said that she was unaware of having struck a parked vehicle and emitted an odor of alcohol. She initially denied consuming alcohol, claiming to be a designated driver, but later acknowledged she had consumed a few drinks. She performed field sobriety exercises, and a breath sample at the scene registered .12, resulting in her arrest for DWI and hit-and-run. Her blood-alcohol concentration at the time of booking was .17, Herman noted.

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