Two men charged in assault of off-duty officer at State Fair

  • Article by: NICOLE NORFLEET , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 4, 2012 - 11:05 PM

Two Twin Cities men were charged with assault Tuesday after allegedly punching and kicking an off-duty St. Paul police officer at the State Fair over the weekend.

A little after midnight on Sunday, police responded to a large fight near the intersection of Liggett Street and Carnes Avenue at the State Fair Grounds, according to criminal complaints. A responding officer saw two men on top of off-duty St. Paul Police Officer Joseph Sauer. Sauer had one man, later identified as Anthony Clark, 25, of St. Paul, in a "bear hug type hold." The other man later identified as Kyle Wesaw, 27, of Minneapolis,appeared to be holding Sauer down.

The responding officer approached the men and could hear Sauer yelling, "Stop fighting, I'm a cop." The responding officer and Sauer were able to handcuff Clark.

In a YouTube video that appeared to be taken by a by-stander in the crowd, Officer Sauer is on top of Clark detaining him when Wesaw approaches Officer Sauer and kicks him in the face.

Officer Sauer's brother said that they had been leaving the fair when they passed a group of people that started identified his brother as a cop. He said that one of the men in the group tried to punch his brother in the face, but his brother was able to take the man to the ground. Officer Sauer's brother said that as he yelled at the crowd to get back, Wesaw head butted him in the face.

When police interviewed Officer Sauer he said he was unsure about what happened, but that he remembered somebody throwing a stuffed animal at him and somebody head butting him before another officer helped him hand cuff the person who head butted him. According to the complaints, Sauer was having a difficult time answering questions in a coherent manner. He was taken to Regions Hospital and complained of a headache and a swollen mouth as well as memory loss.

Wesaw, who was arrested the next day in Minneapolis, told police that Clark had thrown a stuffed animal at Sauer. He said, Sauer and Clark began wrestling on the ground and that while he tried to break up the fight, Sauer bit his thumb. According to the complaint, Wesaw, who admitted that he had been drinking, said he kicked Sauer in the face. Wesaw said, he didn't know Sauer was a police officer.

Clark told police that he had been assaulted for no reason and that he hadn't punched anyone. According to the complaint, Clark continued to change his recollection of what happened.

Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495; Twitter: @stribnorfleet

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