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Wagar son appears on charge for possession of night vision goggles

WILLMAR -- Thomas Albert Wagar, 24, of Minneapolis, made his first appearance Thursday on a felony charge of receiving stolen property for allegedly possessing stolen, military-issue night vision goggles.

Those goggles were allegedly used by his father during a Sept. 16 homecoming incident that included spraying teens with a squirt gun filled with water and fox urine

Wagar was released on his personal recognizance. His next appearance in Kandiyohi County District Court is March 2.

In other court action, Scott Edward Wagar, 50, of rural Willmar, is seeking dismissal of the charges against him in the homecoming incident. Doug Kluver, Scott Wagar's attorney, has filed motions for dismissal of a felony charge for receiving stolen property -- the same night-vision goggles -- and for the remaining misdemeanor charge of theft.

Both of the notices, filed this week, seek the dismissals based on insufficient evidence. They are to be considered by Judge Michael J. Thompson in a hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

The other two misdemeanor charges, for fifth-degree assault and disorderly conduct, filed against the elder Wagar were dismissed by the county attorney's office earlier this month.

According to the complaints which are very similar for both men, Scott Wagar's report to the authorities on Sept. 17 about the homecoming-related incident on his property included a claim of damage to a pair of night vision goggles he was wearing. The goggles appeared to be military issue, and Scott Wagar said he had received them from his son.

The deputy suspected they were stolen, took photos of the goggles and contacted an investigator with the U.S. Department of Defense. Using the photos, the investigator positively identified them as military property, but needed a serial number to identify from which unit they were taken.

The deputy returned to Wagar's home on Dec. 12. Wagar said he had given the goggles back to his son and refused to provide contact information for him. On Jan. 6, the Defense Department investigator went to Thomas Wagar's home in Minneapolis, where Thomas Wagar turned over the goggles and admitted he had taken them while serving with a Marine unit. He said he had given them to his father and got them back during a visit at Thanksgiving.

The complaint states that the replacement cost for the goggles is $2,748. Military personnel at Fort McCoy, Wis., identified the goggles as controlled technology intended for and assigned to a combat unit in Iraq.

The original complaint against Scott Wagar has been amended to include only information about what allegedly happened after the homecoming incident. The information about him having an altercation with another person on his property east of town, and about a group of 15 to 20 people throwing eggs at him and him spraying them with a super-soaker squirt gun filled with water and fox urine has been deleted.

The remaining information alleges that Wagar demanded $100 from a man for a cell phone he found after the incident. He said in an earlier interview with the Tribune that he was asking for $100 in damages to his place and the neighboring fields, which had hundreds of dollars worth of crop loss because the group trampled the soybeans. He later turned the phone over to law enforcement.