Man pleads guilty to two counts of assaulting Willmar police officers
WILLMAR -- The Willmar man charged with assaulting three Willmar Police Department officers in December has pleaded guilty to two felony charges in a plea agreement.
WILLMAR - The Willmar man charged with assaulting three Willmar Police Department officers in December has pleaded guilty to two felony charges in a plea agreement.
Cody Lee Friese, 23, pleaded guilty Monday in Kandiyohi County District Court to two counts of fourth-degree assault of a peace officer, and District Judge Donald Spilseth ordered a pre-sentence investigation. Sentencing is expected in early May.
Friese was taken into custody late Monday in Yellow Medicine County for a misdemeanor violation of an order for protection.
In the Kandiyohi County assault case, Friese originally faced three additional charges: third-degree assault – bodily harm, fourth-degree assault and obstructing the legal process – interfering with a peace officer.
According to court documents, Friese is alleged to have assaulted Sgt. Mike Markkanen, Officer Sam Neubauer and Officer Tony LaPatka on Dec. 19 at a Willmar residence. Markkanen suffered a concussion from blows to the head.
Police Chief David Wyffels told the Tribune in a prior interview that both Markkanen and Neubauer were treated and released from Rice Memorial Hospital and LaPatka did not seek medical attention.
According to the criminal 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.
-Tribune staff writer Gretchen Schlosser contributed to this story