By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Hutchinson man accused of dragging a police officer with his truck and hitting him with a hammer learned his fate in court on Wednesday.

In April, police say 61-year-old Luke Oeltjenbruns hit a Menard’s employee multiple times over the head, after the employee asked him to put on a mask. Officers then pursued Oeltjenbruns to an intersection where he refused to get out of his vehicle and told them to shoot him.

When Officer Steven Sickmann reached inside to grab his keys, Oeltjenbruns closed the window on the officer’s arm and smashed into squad cars. He then hit Officer Sickmann in the head with a hammer.

The assault was captured on camera.

“Every officer at that scene would have been justified in shooting this defendant causing his death. But they didn’t do so because Sickmann was in the way. This defendant is lucky to be here today,” said the prosecution in court.

Oeltjenbruns’ attorney and wife spoke on his behalf.

“On the day of the incident to say I was dumbfounded by the reports would be a total understatement,” said wife Robbie Lynn Oeltjenbruns.

She said her husband suffers from depression, anxiety and PTSD from his time in the military. She called him a loving and hard-working man who regrets what happened.

“I know for a fact that Luke wants help and our family really wants him to get help,” she said.

In the end, Judge Jody Winters sentenced Oeltjenbruns to a year in jail with credit for time served along with up to 10 years probation.

Winters said the fact that Oeltjenbruns had no prior criminal history weighed into her decision, but she made it clear that any violations going forward would result in extended prison time.

“You endangered the lives of the victims, Officer Sickmann, Mr. Anthony Wagner, and potentially your own life,” said Winters while addressing Oeltjenbruns.
Oeltjenbruns also has to pay restitution, do community service, and he must write letters of apologies to the victims.

If he doesn’t follow through he could serve up to 10 years in prison.

John Lauritsen