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Cottage Grove man arrested after SWAT team called to domestic incident

A Washington County SWAT team vehicle was used early Monday after authorities responded to an alleged domestic assault in Cottage Grove. (File photo)

A Washington County SWAT team was used to help coax a Cottage Grove man accused in a domestic assault from his home early Monday after a two-hour standoff.

Authorities arrested Matthew Joseph Franssen, 26, about 12:45 a.m. after he tried running from a back door of his home in the 8500 block of Jewel Avenue while a SWAT vehicle “breached” the home’s front door, Cottage Grove police Capt. Pete Koerner said.

Franssen was booked at the Washington County jail on suspicion of second-degree assault with a knife, domestic assault-strangulation and domestic assault. Formal criminal charges were pending Monday, police said.

Police were called at 9:11 p.m. Sunday to a report of a woman who had been assaulted by her boyfriend at their home. The call came from a neighboring home, where the woman had fled to following the alleged assault.

The woman told police she’d been beaten up by Franssen. She said he choked and punched her and ran at her with a knife, according to police reports.

Police set up a perimeter outside the suspect’s home and were told he might have a handgun. An officer had contact with the suspect at a service door, but he then closed and locked the door and remained inside.

Koerner said that due to the assault investigation and because the suspect was believed to be armed, police called in the Washington County SWAT team.

Cottage Grove used its Code Red alert system to notify neighboring homeowners of an ongoing incident and told them to stay indoors.

Authorities attempted to negotiate with the man over a roughly two-hour period, but were unsuccessful, Koerner said. Meantime, police obtained a search warrant for his home and an arrest warrant.

The SWAT team’s “Bearcat vehicle” approached the home shortly after midnight, prompting the man’s exit and arrest.

The woman, who is 39, was transported by ambulance to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Hospital staff told police she did not have significant injuries but would be kept at Regions overnight for observation. She was released later Monday.

No criminal charges had been filed as of Monday afternoon. Police said they were continuing to gather statements and information.

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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