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Alleged deputy assault at St. Paul Park Heritage Days under review for possible charges

A Cottage Grove man could face criminal charges for allegedly shoving a Washington County sheriff’s deputy at the St. Paul Park Heritage Days festival last month.

St. Paul Park City Attorney Jim Shiely is reviewing reports from the sheriff’s office that claim a man pushed the deputy during an altercation behind a bar Saturday evening, Aug. 17.

According to the initial complaint report:

Deputy Joseph Stoehr was assisting with law enforcement coverage at Heritage Days. Stoehr wrote that he was informed by a St. Paul Park reserve officer at about 10:45 p.m. that an intoxicated male had been destroying a deck railing behind Broadway Bar, 244 Broadway Ave.

Stoehr wrote in the report that he attempted to contact the 36-year-old suspect but that he walked away even as the deputy yelled for him to stop.

The suspect then allegedly approached Stoehr, stood toe to toe with him and screamed an obscenity. Stoehr twice told the man to step back and when he didn’t the deputy pushed him on the shoulders to create distance between them. Stoehr wrote that the suspect “then came at me with full force shoving me and attempting to knock me over.”

The man resisted arrest and two officers were needed to handcuff him. He struggled with authorities and was taken down to the pavement, causing light abrasions to his knees and face, the report states.

The man was transported to the Washington County jail and booked on suspicion of fourth-degree assault of an officer, a gross misdemeanor, and with obstructing the legal process, a misdemeanor.

The sheriff’s office later referred the case to Shiely for consideration of formal charges. Shiely said this week he likely will decide within 10 days whether to charge out the case.

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.

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