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news Willmar, 56201
West Central Tribune
(320) 235-6769 customer support
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

This is the records summary for June 30.

Area authorities begin July speed enforcement Thursday

WILLMAR -- Local law enforcement agencies will participate in a statewide Safe & Sober traffic law enforcement campaign during July in an effort to curb excessive speeds. Part of the Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths initiative, agencies throughout the region have chosen particular days on which they will use officers dedicated to reducing speeds and enhancing safety on our area's roads in both rural areas and in towns.

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The participating agencies include the Kandiyohi County and Swift County sheriff's offices and the police departments of Willmar, Benson and Atwater.

Kandiyohi County Sheriff Dan Hartog points out, "Speeding is tied to aggressive driving behaviors -- tailgating, abrupt passes and lane changes, red-light running. These moves stem from an attitude that the individual driver's schedule is more important than everyone's safety; that the road is for the exclusive convenience of the one driver and everyone else is in his or her way.

"We need to shift attitudes toward keeping everyone safer, to have some patience and plan enough time for the drive. Our enforcement of speed laws has the goal of changing driving attitudes and behaviors to reduce severe injuries and save lives."

During the heart of summertime, Minnesota's roads become more dangerous. There is a mix of vehicles on the road -- from commuters and delivery trucks to vacationers with boats and campers to recreational motorcyclists. Clear skies and clear roads often prompt drivers to throw caution out the sunroof and step on the accelerator, local officials said in a news release. Problem is, as speeds increase, so do the number and violence of crashes.

Property damage

WILLMAR -- Damage to a vehicle was reported around 6:30 p.m. Monday at Goodwill, 2424 First St. S. A vehicle had been keyed.

Arrests

SPICER -- A 30-year-old Spicer man was arrested on charges of driving while impaired around 1:15 a.m. Tuesday near the intersection of state Highway 23 and County Road 32.

WILLMAR -- A 37-year-old Willmar man was arrested on charges of assault and a 30-year-old Willmar man was arrested on charges of fleeing and assault around 1:20 a.m. Tuesday along 39th Street Northwest. The arrests came after officers were called regarding a man who had been assaulted. The man was taken to the hospital. The other man ran from officers and was taken to the hospital after he was taken into custody.

Dog bite

RAYMOND -- A meter reader reported having been bitten by a dog described as a pit bull around 11:15 a.m. Tuesday along Menage Avenue.

Theft

WILLMAR -- The theft of a wallet from a vehicle was reported around 11:40 a.m. Tuesday along the 1100 block of 39th Street Northwest.

BB gun confiscated after alleged shooting

WILLMAR -- A BB gun was confiscated by officers after a vehicle was shot at around 11:45 a.m. Tuesday along the 700 block of Fourth Street Southeast. Officers also spoke with several juveniles and their parents, but were unable to determine who shot the gun at the vehicle.

District Court

Kandiyohi County

- Jose Alberto Perez, 30, of Olivia, pleaded guilty Monday to an amended misdemeanor charge of theft by swindle for taking $1,000 in rent money on a home that was in foreclosure proceedings.

As part of a plea agreement, the charge was reduced from felony level and he will pay restitution.

The charge was filed after Willmar police received a report July 27 that a Marshall woman had rented a home from Perez and had paid him $1,000 in rent and deposit money. However, the home was in foreclosure and Perez didn't own it or have the authority to rent it to tenants.

The renter had moved into the home and later found that the locks were changed by a Realtor, who did allow her and others to stay at the home temporarily. The woman had attempted to get her money back from Perez but was unsuccessful.

Perez was interviewed later and admitted to receiving the $1,000, but claimed he had given $500 back to the woman and was going to give the other $500 back after the interview.

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