Man charged with allegedly strangling man in hotel

Published 8:46 pm Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A Brooklyn Park man who allegedly strangled someone he knew Saturday in Albert Lea was charged with a felony Monday in Freeborn County District Court.

Thomas James Zelenak

Thomas James Zelenak, 54, is charged with domestic assault by strangulation.

Court documents state Zelenak was charged after two Albert Lea police officers responded to Country Inn & Suites at approximately 1:10 a.m. Saturday regarding a domestic incident.

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The alleged victim said he and Zelenak were drinking at a nearby bar, and Zelenak asked him multiple times to stop loudly swearing.

Court documents state the alleged victim returned to his hotel room, and Zelenak began arguing with him about his language at the bar. The alleged victim reported Zelenak pushed him, grabbed him by the neck and “choked him out.”

The alleged victim then left and called law enforcement. Red marks consistent with being grabbed were observed on his neck.

Court documents state Zelenak admitted grabbing him by the neck.

Judge Ross Leuning released Zelenak on his own recognizance, contingent on him not using or possessing firearms or dangerous weapons, alcohol or controlled substances and following other court requirements.

Zelenak’s next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 4.


See what happened last night in the PM report here.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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