A two-time drunken driver has admitted in court to inflicting numerous head injuries to an Edina police officer during a traffic stop in June.
Samuel D. Ronneberg, 26, of Lakeville, pleaded guilty Monday in Hennepin County District Court to third-degree assault, a felony, and gross-misdemeanor drunken driving.
Ronneberg was given a one-year workhouse sentence for the lesser crime with approval to attend school. He awaits sentencing in February on the assault count.
On June 19, Ronneberg was stopped about 2:50 a.m., accused of driving too close to the officer’s squad car and the vehicle she had pulled over along Hwy. 169 near Londonderry Road.
The officer chased down Ronneberg, and a preliminary breath test measured his blood alcohol content at 0.15 percent, nearly twice the legal limit for driving in Minnesota, the charges read. His criminal history includes a drunken driving conviction from 2014.
While in the back of the squad car, Ronneberg wriggled one hand free from the metal handcuffs and warned the officer that he was about to vomit, the criminal complaint continued. The officer opened the door, allowing Ronneberg to grab her by the hair and hit her multiple times before fleeing on foot.
With the help of other agencies, Ronneberg was caught a little more than a mile to the north.
She sustained a black eye and wounds to the back of her head and an ear, and she “may have lost consciousness,” the complaint noted. The head wounds were closed with staples and stitches.
Edina police are withholding the identity of the officer. Spokeswoman Kaylin Eidsness said the city has decided that disclosing the officer’s name would threaten her personal safety.