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Cottage Grove man sentenced for head-butting cop

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crime and courts Cottage Grove, 55016
SWC Bulletin
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Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

A Cottage Grove man was sentenced last month for head-butting a police officer.

Michael S. Benner, 27, was ordered to spend three years on probation and complete 59 days' worth of jail time through a Sentence to Service program after he pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault against a police officer. He was sentenced Dec. 12.

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The criminal complaint described Benner's crime this way:

Early in the morning of Aug. 20, 2011, a Cottage Grove police officer was dispatched to the 8800 block of Greenway Avenue on a report that a young man was walking through someone's backyard. The officer stopped a car in the area and talked to the driver, a woman who said her boyfriend had left a nearby party and was intoxicated.

The officer then saw a man, later identified as Benner, slumped over on the front steps of a home in the 8800 block of Greene Avenue. Benner submitted to a preliminary breath test and had an alcohol concentration of 0.186, more than twice the legal driving limit. As the officer prepared to transport Benner to a detox facility because he was extremely intoxicated, Benner became agitated and started swearing at the officer and a reserve police officer assisting at the scene. Benner then pushed the reserve officer into a squad car and when the cop intervened Benner drew back his head and head-butted the officer in his right eyebrow and forehead, according to the complaint. The cop suffered swelling and a headache.

Benner was arrested.

A 13-month prison sentence was stayed for three years. Benner will not have to serve prison time if his probation conditions are met.

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Scott Wente
Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
(651) 459-7600
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