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State Fairgoer pleads guilty to kicking an off-duty cop

  • Article by: JOY POWELL
  • Star Tribune
  • January 3, 2013 - 9:40 PM

Kyle Wesaw, caught on video kicking an off-duty police officer in the face at the State Fair as he struggled to restrain another man, pleaded guilty Thursday to assault.

Anthony G. Clark, the man being restrained in the widely viewed YouTube video, was sentenced in November to 79 days for fifth-degree assault in the attack, in which Clark punched the off-duty St. Paul police officer in the face, touching off a struggle that passer-by Wesaw joined in on, even as Joseph Sauer yelled out that he was an officer.

There were plenty of witnesses for police to interview about the attack on Sept. 2 near Liggett Street and Carnes Avenue, but cellphone video taken by a bystander and posted on YouTube provided proof of Wesaw's involvement.

Sauer had been assailed after someone in the crowd yelled that he was a cop. Sauer seconds later had a man, later identified as Clark, 25, of St. Paul, in a "bear-hug type hold." Sauer was able to take Clark to the ground.

The video was listed as evidence in the case against Wesaw, 27, of Minneapolis. At 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds, he's seen pacing near Sauer before running up and kicking him in the face, knocking him off Clark and to the ground.

When police interviewed Sauer, he had memory problems but recalled someone throwing a stuffed animal at him and thought somebody head-butted him before he and another officer could cuff that person. Court papers indicate that Sauer wasn't fully coherent.

At Regions Hospital, he complained of a headache, swollen mouth and memory loss.

Wesaw, 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. Wesaw said he didn't know that Sauer was an officer.

In court in St. Paul on Thursday, Wesaw admitted to the facts of the case, including that he had been drinking when he kicked Sauer in the face.

Wesaw is to be sentenced in Ramsey County District Court on March 1 to up to six months in jail for third-degree assault. A fourth-degree assault charge was dropped.

His criminal history includes other cases of disorderly conduct and obstructing police, including taking a "fighting stance" when police tried to arrest him last year.

State Fair officials had no comment.

Joy Powell • 651-925-5038

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