MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A state trooper is expected to make a full recovery after a man she attempted to arrest for alleged drunk driving beat her with her Taser early Saturday morning, the Minnesota State Patrol said.
Minnesota State Trooper Darcy Gagnon stopped 26-year-old Elijah Knowles, of Akeley, Minn., on Highway 34 just east of Dorset corner at approximately 1:30 a.m. After performing field sobriety tests, Gagnon attempted to handcuff Knowles, but he resisted arrest. He then grabbed the trooper’s Taser and beat her on the head with it several times.
A criminal complaint showed that Knowles tried to pull the Taser’s trigger while it was on Gagnon’s head, but the safety stopped it from firing. Knowles also tried to take Gagnon’s gun, but he failed to obtain it. Gagnon required staples in her head in order to close the wound.
According to the state patrol, Gagnon’s training saved her life.
When he saw police arriving to the scene, Knowles fled south on County Road 33, reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph. After attempting to ram two squad cars, Knowles crashed near the intersection Highway 64 and 200th Street, the state patrol said. Deputies had to use mace on Knowles and while he was being put into a patrol car, he kicked on of the deputies in the chest.
Knowles faces nine counts of assault (six felonies and three gross misdemeanors), including first-degree assault. He is currently being held in Hubbard County.
According to the criminal complaint, Knowles has a previous DWI from January 2008.
Minnesota State Patrol Chief Kevin Daly said this incident shows the dangers troopers face every day.