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New London, Minn., man pleads to lesser charge from incident with worker shutting off his electricity

WILLMAR -- Thomas Ralph Lungstrom, 53, of New London, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Thursday on a misdemeanor fifth-degree assault charge stemming from a May 14 incident involving the assault of an Xcel Energy employee as the employee was cutting off Lungstrom's electricity.

As part of a plea agreement in Kandiyohi County District Court, a second-degree assault charge was dismissed. Lungstrom was sentenced to 24 hours of community service work, one year of probation and a $50 fine.

He received a stay of adjudication on his sentence. Under the stay, no conviction will appear on his record if he complies with the conditions of probation.

The charges were filed after Kandiyohi County sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a home just outside New London regarding an assault.

Lungstrom had threatened to ram an Xcel worker and his truck.

The worker was at the home to turn off the power due to non-payment for the service.

The utility worker said he was sitting in his truck at the corner of 187th Street and County Road 31 when Lungstrom drove by on the grass in the ditch, turned his vehicle around and then drove at speeds of 50 to 60 mph toward the front of the utility truck.

The utility worker said he put on his seat belt and thought he was going to have to brace for a head-on collision before Lungstrom stopped his vehicle 10 to 15 feet from the front of the utility truck.

The worker said Lungstrom told him to leave or he would ram him.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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