WILLMAR -- A 19-year-old Willmar man made his first court appearance Friday on felony charges of domestic assault by strangulation and fourth-degree assault of a peace officer for allegedly attempting to strangle a young woman and then spitting at and attempting to biting a Willmar police officers who arrested him.
Unconditional bail was set at $50,000 for Nicholas Martin Cruz. His conditional bail was set at $25,000. Conditions include that he have no contact with the woman or her residence, that he not initiate contact with police officers, that he possess no weapons and comply with court orders for protection. He was also ordered to have no contact with the family members of police officers and will be escorted by deputies to retrieve his belongings from his residence.
Cruz faces a total of three felony and one gross misdemeanor counts of assault on a peace officer, along with misdemeanor charges of domestic assault, driving after suspension and underage drinking and driving. His next appearance in Kandiyohi County District Court is Nov. 8.
According to the complaint, Willmar police were called to a residence on the southeast side around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday on a domestic incident. A woman there reported that Cruz, with whom she has had a long-term relationship and a child, had hit her in the face repeatedly with his closed fist and choked her. The assault had happened when the woman asked Cruz's friends to leave their residence.
The wo-man also said that Cruz hit her while she was holding the infant and had told her to put the child down and "you'll really get it." The woman had been taken from the scene to another residence.
An officer located Cruz driving a vehicle nearby and stopped the vehicle. The officer noted the smell of alcohol on him. Cruz allegedly refused to cooperate with officers. He finally did cooperate enough to be handcuffed only after being told that a stun gun would be used against him.
Cruz allegedly attempted to kick out the windows of a squad car, spit at three officers and attempted to bite another officer as the officer was attempting to restrain Cruz so that the other officers could put him in foot restraints. The restraints were to prevent him from kicking out the car windows. He also spit on the officer who was transporting him to jail and on the computer and other equipment in the squad car.
While he was being searched and restrained, Cruz allegedly cursed the officers, threatened to sexually assault the wives and children of the officers and said he was going to find out where the officers lived. He continued to say vulgar things to the officers and the jail staff as he was booked into the county jail.