Albert Lea man charged with assault of an officer

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 13, 2003

An Albert Lea man was charged with assaulting a police officer after an altercation in which he and the officer were peppersprayed.

According to the criminal complaint: Police had responded to a report of a fight and determined that one of the men, Dewey Vince Fraser, 32, was wanted on a misdemeanor warrant. When at least three officers finally caught up with Fraser he removed his shirt and took on a fight stance. He walked quickly toward Officer Robert Etheridge and then grabbed him by the neck with both hands.

As officers tried to pull him off Etheridge, Fraser punched him in the face. An officer grabbed Fraser’s forehead from behind, and soon peppersprayed Fraser, hitting Etheridge as well.

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Officers then wrestled Fraser to the ground. After that he began kicking violently and attempted to resist being handcuffed, officers sprayed him again.

After he was handcuffed and his ankles bound, he was carried to jail.

Assistant Police chief Dwaine Winkels said although officers are hit from time to time, it’s rare for a assailant to be on the offensive.

He said Fraser might have been out of jail the next day had he cooperated. Assaulting a police officer and obstructing legal process with force have a maximum combined penalty of 3 years in prison and a $7,000 fine.

He said that Etheridge received only minor injuries and that being peppersprayed is considered to be a better alternative than using other violence that could lead to more serious injuries.

(Contact Tim Sturrock at tim.sturrock or 379-3438)