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Officer struck in face, college student charged with felony

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Investigating a loud party complaint at 114 S. Fourth St. just before 2 a.m. Sunday turned into something bigger and more violent for two River Falls patrol officers. One of the tenants, a 19-year-old UW-River Falls student, refused to cooperate, allegedly banged a back door shut against one officer and a short time later hit the same officer in the face with a closed fist.

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The struggle continued inside the rental house. The student broke free and was chased.

He upended furniture, collapsed a table where a drinking game called beer pong was set up, but kept going out the front door before jumping down the stairs outside. He was finally caught and pinned in the front yard.

During the incident, three attempts to use a stun gun on the suspect failed when the Taser malfunctioned.

The college student was later taken to jail and charged with felony battery to a law enforcement officer.

The injured officer was treated for bruises and abrasions at the hospital and not expected to miss any time off from work.

Also in the last week police:

  • Dealt with an apparent case of road rage at the intersection of Main and Division streets late Friday afternoon. A 44-year-old local woman became mad when another southbound vehicle allegedly cut her off in the turn lane. At the red light, she left her vehicle to confront the man.

    The accounts of what happened next differ, but the woman is alleged to have yelled at the male driver, called him a pussy and reached into the driver's side window to slap his face. The man claims he hurt his pinkie finger blocking her in self defense.

    The woman claims the man turned on his rear-window washer fluid to spray her and got out of his vehicle also, causing her to return to her vehicle out of fear for her safety.

    Both went right away to the police station to report what they believed occurred. There, they had to be separated. The woman was given a $177 fine. The man said he would see a doctor about his injured pinkie.

  • Cited a 19-year-old local man for crashing into the Beyond Lighting building downtown while turning onto Main Street from Maple Street at 10:50 p.m. Sunday. The man was taken to the hospital. Later, he said he had been very tired leading up to the collision and was fuzzy on what caused him to miss his turn and crash. He was given fines for inattentive driving and failing to buckle up. His vehicle and the building sustained considerable damage.

    For more, please read Police Beat in the March 31 print edition of the River Falls Journal.

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    Phil Pfuehler
    Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
    (715) 426-1050
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