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Willmar man sentenced to 19 months in prison for assaulting cop

WILLMAR -- Rogelio Esquivel Torres, 20, of Willmar was sentenced Monday to 19 months in prison for assaulting a Willmar Police officer who was attempting to arrest him on a warrant in February.

Torres was also ordered to pay a $50 fine as part of his sentence on the felony charge of fourth-degree assault charge in Kandiyohi County District Court. As part of a plea agreement, a fifth-degree assault, a felony because he has two prior convictions in the past three years, was dismissed, along with gross misdemeanor charges for fourth-degree assault of a peace officer and for obstructing the legal process, and a misdemeanor charge for fleeing an officer on foot. The charges were filed after a Willmar officer was on patrol around 3:20 a.m. Feb. 10 in the Regency Estates West trailer park. The officer observed a vehicle parking and knew that Torres was known to associate with the driver. He approached the vehicle and saw Torres recline the passenger seat and then crawl into the back seat of the vehicle. Torres was ordered to get out of the vehicle. While the officer was placing him under arrest, he began to walk away.

The officer pulled his stun gun and ordered Torres to stop or be tased. He stopped, but attempted to punch the officer and grabbed him by the shoulders.

He then ran and fell into a snow bank, where the officer attempted to tase him again, but the stun gun didn't work. Torres and the officer struggled for control of the stun gun and Torres was finally handcuffed when a Kandiyohi County Sheriff's deputy arrived to assist the city officer.

The officer suffered a cut on his neck and was bleeding from the injury. A review of Torres' record shows domestic assault convictions in February 2008 and January 2007, plus a separate conviction for making terroristic threats in January 2007.