This is the records summary for July 17.
WILLMAR — A safe was reported stolen Tuesday from a home in the 700 block of 15th Avenue Southwest. The owner told Willmar Police that the safe contained about $1,300 in cash, a wedding ring, title papers to three vehicles and a Social Security card. The theft was believed to have taken place this past Saturday.
WILLMAR — Minor damage was reported in a fire early Wednesday morning at a home on East Eagle Ridge Drive.
The fire, which broke out shortly after 4 a.m., was apparently traced to a bedroom reading lamp that set some bedding on fire.
District Court, Kandiyohi County
- Stephen Alan Masse, 52, of Willmar made an initial appearance Wednesday in Kandiyohi County Eighth District Court, where he was charged with felony domestic assault by strangulation and misdemeanor domestic assault.
He did not enter a plea. Judge Jennifer Fischer set unconditional bail at $50,000 and conditional bail at $30,000. The judge also issued a domestic assault no contact order that bars Masse from having contact with the victim, identified as his girlfriend.
He was arrested Monday after Willmar Police were called to a domestic disturbance in the 400 block of Second Street Southeast. The altercation reportedly began when Masse accused his girlfriend of cheating on him. He allegedly hit the victim, threw her against a wall and tried to choke her. A neighbor who witnessed most of the attack called 911 for help.
When police interviewed the victim, they learned Masse had also assaulted her three days earlier in New London, giving her a bloody nose.
- A 29-year-old Willmar man is facing two drug charges after being arrested following a drug sting in Willmar this past February.
Alonzo Pharez Gatlin made a first appearance Wednesday in Kandiyohi County Eighth District Court.
Acting on a tip from a confidential informant, the CEE-VI Drug and Gang Task Force set up a drug buy in February that was conducted under surveillance and netted 6.2 grams of a methamphetamine-like substance worth $275. The powdery substance was later tested by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and turned out to contain no trace of any controlled substance.
However, Minnesota statute allows suspects to be charged for knowingly selling, transferring or delivering a non-controlled substance under circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to believe it was a controlled substance, and under circumstances in which money or other valuables are exchanged. Gatlin is being charged under this statute. The crime is a felony and could result in a prison sentence. He also is charged with selling a non-controlled substance as a narcotic, another felony.
Judge Jennifer Fischer set bail at $25,000. Gatlin’s next court appearance is July 28.