The Free Press, Mankato, MN

July 24, 2013

Bar struggle with officers results in felony

Man confronted for allegedly driving drunk

By Dan Nienaber

---- — MANKATO — A drunken driving suspect is facing felony charges for allegedly fighting with police officers who attempted to take him out of a Mankato bar.

Someone called 911 at about 7 p.m. Saturday to report a man had left Midtown Tavern in a red Chevy Suburban, ran a red light and was driving on the wrong side of the road. An officer in the area located the Suburban outside the Oleander Saloon, so he asked a group of people across the street outside Mom and Pop's ice cream shop if they had seen the driver.

One person described the driver as a white man wearing jeans and a light shirt. A man matching the description was found inside the Oleander. By this time there were three officers at the bar.

That man, 38-year-old Andrew Paul Johnson of North Mankato, told the officers he didn't drive. However, when he was asked for identification, an officer noticed a Chevy ignition key in his hand, according to a criminal complaint filed this week in Blue Earth County District Court.

The confrontation started when Johnson was asked to step outside, the complaint said. He was put in a compliance hold, walked outside, forced to the ground and his hands were handcuffed behind his back.

Officers then learned Johnson's license had been cancelled and the key in his hand unlocked the doors of the Suburban, the complaint said. Another struggle started as the officers attempted to put Johnson in a squad car.

Johnson was eventually forced on to the hood of a squad car. It was at that point he allegedly attempted to pull an officer's tazing device from its holster. He also allegedly threatened to kill an officer and his family.

The threats allegedly continued after he was brought to jail and officers attempted to get him to take an alcohol test. Johnson ultimately refused to take the test, the complaint said.

He is facing felony charges for attempting to disarm an officer and making terroristic threats. He's also facing gross misdemeanor charges of obstruction and refusing to submit to an alcohol test.