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Man who assaulted officers faces four felony charges

WILLMAR — The man who allegedly assaulted three Willmar Police Department officers Thursday faces four felony charges and is held on $25,000 bail at the Kandiyohi County Jail.

Cody Lee Friese, 23, faces a third-degree assault charge for causing Sgt. Mike Markkanen to suffer a concussion from blows to the head, two felony counts of fourth-degree assault of a peace officer for assaulting Markkanen and Officer Sam Neubauer and a gross misdemeanor count of fourth-degree assault for assaulting Officer Tony LaPatka. Friese also faces a felony count of obstruction of the legal process.

Friese’s next appearance is Dec. 30 in Kandiyohi County District Court.

According to Police Chief David Wyffels, both Markkanen and Neubauer were treated and released from Rice Memorial Hospital and LaPatka did not seek medical attention. Wyffels said Friday morning that all three officers were doing fine.

According to the complaint, the Police Department was advised by the Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s Office that there was an arrest warrant for Friese for violating a no-contact order. Neubauer went to a relative’s home and found Friese, who cursed the officer, stood up and clenched his fists.

Both Neubauer and Markkanen attempted to use their stun guns on Friese, who fought with the officers and hit Markkanen in the back and the head, the complaint states. The officers called for assistance and Friese was finally restrained after the other officers arrived. The complaint says that Laptka was head-butted by Friese when Friese lunged at him after he had been handcuffed.

Markkanen was taken by ambulance to Rice Memorial Hospital and doctors determined he had suffered a concussion. Neubauer was treated for cuts to his hands.

The Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota State Patrol and the Willmar Ambulance Service assisted during the incident.

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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