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Minnesota man accused of dragging, assaulting police officer in mask dispute

The officer responded to a call for help at a Menards where the suspect allegedly attacked an employee with a piece of lumber following a mask dispute.

A 61-year-old Minnesota man is in police custody after dragging a police officer with his car and assaulting him with a hammer following a report of an assault that began as a mask dispute, police say.

Police were called to a Menards store on Wednesday after the suspect, identified as Luke Alvin Oeltjenbruns, allegedly attacked an employee with lumber amid a mask dispute, the Hutchinson Police Department said in a statement. When police arrived, they found Oeltjenbruns in a nearby Walmart parking lot, police said.

Image: Menards
A 61-year-old man is now in police custody after dragging a police officer with his car and assaulting him with a hammer at a Menards in Minnesota.Google

As the officer, Steven Sickmann, approached, Oeltjenbruns tried to evade him in a slow-speed car chase that ended near a local mall, police said. When Sickmann exited his vehicle to confront Oeltjenbruns, he became trapped in the driver's-side window of Oeltjenbruns' car.

Oeltjenbruns then took off, dragging Sickmann down the road at a high speed, according to police. The officer was also struck with a hammer in the struggle.

Police eventually apprehended Oeltjenbruns, who was arrested at the scene, police said. Sickmann was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for his injuries.

The incident happened roughly 60 miles west of where George Floyd and Daunte Wright, both Black men, were killed at the hands of police officers. Benjamin Crump, an attorney representing the families of Floyd and Wright, tweeted Thursday: "Yesterday a white man in Minnesota assaults a retail worker, rams into a police car, hits a cop in the head with a HAMMER, then drives off with the cop STILL ATTACHED to his vehicle. Was he shot? NO. Was he tased? NO. What a stark contrast to #DaunteWright..."

The McLeod County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation of the incident.