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Charges: Loch went for cell phone, previously had gun

LITCHFIELD -- Cassidy Jared Loch, 24, of Litchfield, was apparently reaching for his cell phone while angrily charging at the Litchfield police officer who shot him on March 15.

According to the criminal complaint against Loch, he did not follow the commands issued by Officer Travis Rueckert during the early morning incident and appeared to reach for a black "thing" on his right hip while charging at the officer, who discharged his firearm at Loch approximately 10 times.

The "thing" was later discovered to be a cell phone and case. However, a pistol belonging to Loch was found outside of the vehicle involved in the case. It was fully loaded with the safety off, according to the complaint.

Loch made his first court appearance Friday on the Meeker County charges. He faces a felony for attempted fourth-degree assault of a peace officer, plus charges of driving while impaired, carrying a pistol while intoxicated and reckless handling of a firearm. Unconditional bail was set at $20,000. His next court appearance is Aug. 27.

According to a news release from Meeker County Sheriff Jeff Norlin, Loch was arrested without incident around 6 p.m. Thursday evening at his residence after a Meeker County grand jury indicted him on the charges.

According to the complaint, around 1:30 a.m. March 15, Rueckert was dispatched to South Litchfield Avenue regarding a person driving under the influence of alcohol. He arrived to find a truck lodged against a tree in the yard and Loch and another man yelling and fighting. Loch was in the driver's seat of the truck, with the driver's door against the tree. The other man was at the vehicle's window. Several others were also there and had witnessed Loch driving, retrieving a handgun from inside the home and getting the truck stuck against the tree.

The witnesses said Loch had put the gun under his chin and threatened to take his life, that he used the butt end of the gun to break the driver's window of the vehicle, crawled out of the window and threw the gun on the ground nearby. The officer then arrived, ordered the arguing men to get on the ground in order to control the situation, and heard the other man yell that Loch had a gun.

The officer took a stance behind his vehicle and, with his weapon drawn, ordered the men to the ground. The other man complied, but Loch began charging or walking angrily toward the officer and reached for the black "thing" on his hip. The officer backed away and fired until Loch was on the ground.

Loch's blood-alcohol level was 0.16 at 2:37 a.m., the complaint says. After the incident, he was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis for treatment of his injuries.

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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