THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — Two City Council members in Thief River Falls have been charged following a chair-swinging brawl that emerged from a discussion about a children’s splash pad.

The Pennington County attorney has charged Joshua Hagen with fifth-degree assault and Jerald Brown with disorderly conduct stemming from the physical fight at a council meeting more than a week ago.

The criminal complaint details a heated discussion over swimming pool money and a splash park.

The criminal complaint says that Hagen started arguing with council member Curtis Howe about city business. Brown eventually told Hagen to “shut up,” and said that he was “sick and tired” of Hagen.

When Brown said, “I’m going to take you outside,” Hagen allegedly responded “make me” and “let’s go.”

Charging documents say both men were shoving each other and ended up on the floor.

Council members said they saw Hagen kick Brown in the face while the latter was on all fours on the ground. City administrator Rodney Otterness restrained Hagen in a bear hug.

Brown suffered injuries to his face. Hagen sustained abrasions to his back and chest. Witnesses said that both were “acting like two children on a school yard.”

Brown says he doesn’t plan to contest the charges.

Hagen resigned his council seat earlier this week, citing medical reasons.


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