As a St. Paul police officer tried to take a man into custody Wednesday, the man struck him in the head eight times while holding a key. The department’s assistant police chief said the officer was “brutally assaulted.”
“(The suspect) was essentially stabbing the officer in the head with the key,” said Steve Linders, a St. Paul police spokesman.
The officer was taken to Regions Hospital and required a staple to close a wound on his head, Linders said.
Police arrested Coni Lamark Shegog, 28, of St. Paul, on suspicion of felony assault on a peace officer.
At about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Officer Dominic Dzik responded to an apartment building on Cook Avenue near Westminster Street.
A 22-year-old woman reported she had an order for protection against a neighbor — who recently threatened her with a knife — but the neighbor had contact with her earlier in the day and allegedly wanted to fight her, Linders said.
Dzik responded alone because the woman reported the neighbor was no longer there, Linders said. As he talked to the woman in the parking lot, a vehicle pulled in. She told Dzik the person in the passenger seat was the neighbor she had the protection order against.
Dzik went to talk to the people in the car and the driver, Shegog, began yelling at the officer, telling him to move his “(expletive) squad.” Dzik radioed for officers to come and back him up.
The officer went to the driver’s side “in an attempt to verbally try to calm Mr. Shegog down,” Linders said, but Shegog got out of the car.
Shegog continued screaming and cursing at the officer, advancing toward him. Dzik “tried to create distance, so he put his hand out against Shegog’s chest, but Shegog hit the officer’s arm away and yelled, ‘Don’t you (expletive) touch me,'” Linders said.
It continued several more times, with Shegog advancing and pushing the officer’s arm and hand away, Linders said.
When Dzik told Shegog he was under arrest and the man again struck the officer’s hand and arm, the officer deployed a short burst of chemical irritant, according to police.
Dzik tried to put Shegog in handcuffs, but the man swung at the officer and struck him on the top of his head multiple times while holding a key, Linders said.
Another officer arrived and assisted Dzik as Shegog continued to fight. An officer sprayed a chemical irritant again before they were able to get him into handcuffs, Linders said. He spit at four officers while they were putting him in a squad car, according to police.
Police also arrested the passenger in Shegog’s car, Erin Jeanetta Bohanon. The 25-year-old was cited for fifth-degree assault and obstructing legal process.
While Dzik was struggling with Shegog, Bohanon went over to the woman whom had a protection order against her and started swinging at her, Linders said.
Dzik, a St. Paul officer for 16 years, was released from the hospital after he was treated.
“This incident demonstrates the dangers our officers face on a daily basis,” Assistant Chief Kathy Wuorinen wrote in a message to police employees Thursday. “It’s important that the people we serve know this and understand what we know — even the most mundane calls can turn dangerous in an instant.”
The Ramsey County attorney’s office is reviewing the case against Shegog for potential charges.