The Free Press, Mankato, MN

March 4, 2013

Janesville police force operating without part-time cop

By Dan Nienaber
Free Press Staff Writer

JANESVILLE — The Janesville Police Department is making do with one fewer officer following the suspension of part-time policeman Michael Danberry in connection with a bar fight.

The off-duty Danberry was arrested by Waseca police after an altercation at Club 57 in Waseca left a male victim with an apparent broken nose.

According to court documents, police received a call at 1:26 a.m. Feb. 24 regarding a fight in the bar. Police were told the assailant was headed for another bar.

A Waseca officer saw a person matching the description of the suspect and asked him about the fight, which the suspect denied having knowledge of.

The officer noticed what appeared to be blood on Danberry’s jeans. The victim subsequently identified Danberry as the assailant, telling officers Danberry kneed him in the face several times.

A witness said she saw Danberry also strike the victim repeatedly with his fist.

Waseca Police Capt. Kris Markeson said Danberry was taken into custody without incident and charged with third-degree felony assault.

His next court appearance is March 19.

Janesville Police Chief Dave Ulmen said that city has two full-time officers, including himself, and is down to seven part-time officers with Danberry’s suspension.

“This is a pretty tragic, unfortunate incident for a lot of reasons,” Ulmen said.

He said Danberry’s suspension is without pay because part-time officers receive wages only when they work, and their police coverage varies — usually working three to five shifts a month.

If convicted, Danberry also could face disciplinary action from the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training. That action could include sanctions against his peace officer’s license.

Danberry, who is employed at a Mankato tire dealership, has been a part-time Janesville officer for two years.