Students at a St. Paul elementary school told police that a man watching them on the playground with his hands down his pants threatened to kill and rape them when they confronted him, authorities say.
Yeng Houa Moua is also accused of approaching a 13-year-old student standing outside a nearby middle school and rubbing his face against her breasts earlier that same day, according to a criminal complaint filed in Ramsey County District Court Thursday evening.
Moua, 31, of St. Paul faces one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct as well as additional counts of making threats of violence and 5th-degree drug possession for his alleged behavior.
Police found a plastic wrapper containing white crystalline substance on Moua during his arrest, which later proved to be methamphetamine, the complaint said.
The incidents took place Wednesday evening, authorities say.
A teacher at Farnsworth Aerospace Upper Campus, which serves middle school students at 1000 Walsh Street, said he’s seen a man matching Moua’s description enter the school claiming to be looking for a friend around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to legal documents.
A short time later, the teacher said he was outdoor with a 13-year-old student when the same man suddenly approached them and rubbed his face against the student the way “a cat would do to a person,” the complaint said.
The student told officers she’d noticed the man staring at her before he walked up, placed his hand on her hip, and rubbed his face across her chest, legal documents say.
The girl said the man was breathing heavily as she pushed him away.
Video surveillance of the incident captured by the school shows Moua engaging in the conduct, charges say.
Shortly thereafter, police were called to Phalen Lake Elementary school on a report that a man had been watching kids on the playground with his hands down his pants, the complaint said.
The school is located several blocks northeast of Farnsworth at 1089 Cypress St.
Children at the scene directed police to a man several blocks away, who was later identified as Moua.
A 10-year-old boy told officers that he saw Moua thrusting his hips at kids, prompting he and others to approach Moua. That’s when the boy said Moua threatened to rape and kill them if they got closer, the complaint said.
A girl at the school reported a similar interaction. The 13-year-old said she and others started following Moua after a group of students blocked his attempt to approach her, according to the charges.
As they walked behind him, Moua threatened to rape and kill them, the student told police.
During an interview with officers, Moua reportedly said he didn’t remember engaging in any of the incidents and said he’d been awake for days on methamphetamine, marijuana and alcohol, the complaint said.
When police described his alleged actions, Moua said he was shocked and ashamed, charges say.
His criminal record includes convictions for burglary, theft, disorderly conduct, check forgery, giving false information to police, and 5th-degree drug possession.
He is expected to appear in court on the latest charges facing him sometimes Friday. No attorney was listed for him yet in court records.