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Browerville, Minn., man who says he was tased in groin failed 3 field sobriety tests

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Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WADENA, Minn. - A man who said he was tased in the groin by a Verndale police officer was legally drunk at the time of the encounter, a test allegedly shows.

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According to Wadena County District Court records, the officer was summoned to the Bullseye Bar in Verndale on May 22 after a city employee reported adults were providing alcohol to minors in the parking lot. When Police Chief Jeff Jares approached, he reported, he saw two vehicles with minors in them in the parking lot.

One of the vehicles contained Brandon Clark Christensen, 23, of Browerville, and four juveniles, ages 11, 13, 13 and 16.

Jares spoke to witnesses at the scene, who said they saw Christensen leave the building with money but not carrying anything else. While speaking to Christensen, Jares reported he detected the presence of alcohol on his breath. Jares said Christensen failed three field sobriety tests, according to court documents.

When Jares told Christensen he was going to arrest him for DWI, Christensen backed away from him, Jares said in a court filing. After Jares warned him not to move or resist arrest or he would be tased, Christensen ran toward the building.

Christensen's family said in an interview that Brandon was afraid of the officer, and ran toward the building to get to safety and public surroundings.

Jares reported in court documents the first attempt to tase Christensen happened as the suspect was running away, and the taser probes hit him in the back. Jares wrote that he didn't see a reaction from the defendant that indicated the tasing had been effective, so he ran after Christensen. Jares wrote Christensen continued to resist, so Jares activated the taser again. After additional resistance, Jares said, he activated the taser a third time, "which was successful," he wrote in his report.

Christensen complained after the scuffle that he had been tased in the groin, and needed medical attention. He was taken by ambulance to Tri-County Hospital. While there, he consented to a blood test.

On June 17, the result came back from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and it allegedly registered .08, exactly the legal threshold for being too intoxicated to drive in Minnesota.

The family filed a complaint with the city of Verndale after the incident, and reported the taser blast had become infected, and Brandon suffered medical bills from the incident.

Christensen's first appearance in Wadena County District Court was set for July 13.

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