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Update: Man charged for allegedly walking into care center, choking resident

WILLMAR -- A 35-year-old man was arrested after allegedly walking into a care center Thursday evening in Willmar, choking an elderly woman and then rushing at police officers when they confronted him on the street moments later. According to a ne...

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WILLMAR - A 35-year-old man was arrested after allegedly walking into a care center Thursday evening in Willmar, choking an elderly woman and then rushing at police officers when they confronted him on the street moments later.

According to a news release from Willmar Police Chief Jim Felt, officers responded to a report at 6:04 p.m. Thursday of an assault in progress at a care center on the 900 block of Willmar Avenue Southeast. A 911 caller from the facility indicated that an unknown man was choking one of the elderly residents.

Staff there directed the officers to a suspect who was walking eastbound on Willmar Avenue. When the first officer attempted to stop the suspect, he refused to follow commands and rushed toward the officer in the street. The initial officer was able to temporarily control the man with a stun gun while more officers arrived, the release said. The suspect allegedly continued to fight and resist and had to be forcibly restrained.

An investigating officer at the care facility learned that the man had entered the facility through the main doors and was not responding appropriately to staff that greeted him. He then approached a nearby 97-year-old-resident in a wheelchair and grabbed her by the neck, lifted her out of the chair and shook her, the news release states.

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Staff immediately attempted to intervene and were able to separate the man from the woman as they were calling 911. He then left the facility.

The woman was transported by ambulance to Rice Hospital for an evaluation. She did not suffer any obvious injuries but was unable to communicate due to her medical condition.

After being apprehended, the man was also transported to Rice Hospital by ambulance for evaluation for possible drug or mental health issues and later brought to the Kandiyohi County Jail, the release states.

Police initially identified the man as from Waktala, South Dakota. Kandiyohi County District Court records list a Willmar address for the man who now faces a gross misdemeanor charge of obstructing the legal process and a misdemeanor charge of fifth-degree assault.

The Willmar Police Department was assisted by the Willmar Ambulance Service in responding to the call Thursday.

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