The graveyard shift turned out to be a painful one Wednesday for one northwestern Minnesota police officer.
It started when Brad Browning, an officer in the small town of Dilworth, spotted a car with one headlight out about 1:45 a.m. When he pulled the car over, he discovered that the driver, Stephen Hietala of Perham, had a warrant out for his arrest.
Soon, a Moorhead police officer arrived on the scene as backup, and the two officers attempted to arrest and handcuff Hietala, 27, who resisted. In the struggle, the Moorhead officer pulled his Taser and fired.
Trouble was, he missed Hietala, hitting Browning instead.
Hietala immediately fled, running through the neighborhood with Browning in pursuit. By the time Hietala hid between two garages in an alley, a Clay County sheriff’s deputy had arrived with a police dog. The dog was cut loose, but instead of biting Hietala, it bit Browning, the police report said.
Even without the K9’s help, the officers finally arrested Hietala. He was charged with obstruction of legal process and fleeing a police officer, as well as possession of methamphetamine, Xanax and marijuana.