MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Mendota Heights man is charged with terroristic threats, disarming a police officer, assault of an officer, criminal damage to property and driving while impaired.
According to the criminal complaint, police responded to a report of a man with a hammer, later identified as 38-year-old Michael John Hegstrom, who was breaking windows and damaging vehicles in a parking lot in Inver Grove Heights.
Police say Hegstrom was holding a hammer in one hand, had it raised above his head and looked like he was about to strike a man who was standing in front of him.
An officer yelled for Hegstrom to put the hammer down, but he began walking toward the officer, hammer still raised and threw it at the officer, according to the criminal complaint. The officer dodged the hammer and it landed in a snow bank, about five feet away.
The complaint states that Hegstrom continued walking toward the officer, forcing the officer to draw out his Taser and yell for Hegstrom to get down on the ground. Hegstrom allegedly ignored commands and the officer was forced to release the Taser, which wasn’t able to penetrate through Hegstrom’s winter coat. The officer then tackled Hegstrom to the ground.
According to the complaint, Hegstrom struggled with the officer on the ground, grabbing at his radio and his equipment belt. Two witnesses ran to assist the officer and helped to secure Hegstrom, while the officer called for backup.
The Inver Grove Heights officer suffered a sprained wrist as a result of the incident.
Hegstrom was arrested and transported to the hospital to be checked for lacerations. Officers reported a strong smell of alcohol and said Hegstrom appeared to be having troubles balancing.
Hegstrom told officers he started drinking around 11:30 a.m. in St. Paul, left a bar and recalled several St. Paul squad cars following him with their lights and sirens on. He allegedly said he knew he was supposed to pull over but he “got away.”
Hegstrom said he then went to Inver Grove Heights to see a movie. After buying the tickets, he said he went to have a drink at a sports bar, then got into his car and started to back out of his parking space, when he hit another vehicle.
He said his car door got jammed open from the crash, so at that point he grabbed a hammer and started smashing out other vehicle’s windows, according to the complaint.
Hegstrom has a prior driving under the influence conviction from 2009. The damage he caused to multiple vehicles with a hammer is estimated to be more than $1,000.