Man cited after fireworks ignite grass fire
A Stillwater man who failed to appear in court earlier this month remains in the Washington County Jail on numerous charges after he allegedly tried fleeing from, then assaulted a Stillwater Police officer trying to arrest him.
Dwight Dismuke is charged with obstructing legal process with force, fleeing an officer on foot, fifth-degree assault, and disorderly conduct after running from the officer who was trying to arrest Dismuke on an outstanding warrant for Dismuke’s failure to appear for a Nov. 15 court hearing.
A Stillwater Police Department incident report said Sgt. Jeff Stender saw Dismuke walking east on Myrtle Street and recognized Dismuke after learning about the warrant for Dismuke’s arrest.
The report states that Dismuke appeared to recognize Stender although the officer was in plainclothes in an unmarked squad car. Dismuke then appeared to walk faster up Myrtle Street until Stender called Dismuke over and showed him his badge, according to the report.
When Stender asked Dismuke when he failed to appear in court, the report said Dismuke allegedly told the officer he was too busy with other things like moving and asked if he could give his keys to his girlfriend.
The report said Stender allowed Dismuke to give his keys to his girlfriend. Dismuke told the women he was going to jail for warrants because he hadn’t gone to court, the report added.
The report said when Dismuke and Stender left the building, Dismuke allegedly ran towards Third Street with Stender chasing and ordering Dismuke to stop. Dismuke allegedly ran into traffic north of Chestnut Street, which allowed Stender to catch him, according to the report.
Dismuke struggled with Stender, allegedly fighting the officer while saying, “Let me go. Let me go. Let me go,” the report said. Dismuke allegedly elbowed Stender in the chest slapped Stender’s radio out of his hands when the officer was trying to call for back up.
Reports state that Stender had Dismuke in a headlock briefly, then Dismuke began punching the officer. The report adds that Stender thought he would be injured in Dismuke’s attempt to flee.
The report said a citizen showed up on foot and waved down another motorist who helped Stender subdue Dismuke. Dismuke allegedly kept fighting and yelled that he couldn’t breathe, telling the officer to get off of him and allegedly “putting on a show’” for bystanders, the report adds.
SPD Chief John Gannaway and another officer arrived on scene and placed Dismuke in the rear of a squad car, the report said. Dismuke allegedly continued struggling to make it appear officers were abusing him, and yelling that the handcuffs were too tight, the report adds.
Dismuke taken to the Washington County Jail and the case referred to the city attorney’s office for charges. As of Wednesday afternoon, Dismuke was still being held at the jail.
Grass fire leads to citations
Fireworks citations resulted after the Stillwater Police and Fire departments responded to a report of a large grass fire Nov. 17 in the 3000 block of Atwood Circle moving towards houses.
Reports state that when officers and SFD units arrived several neighbors had extinguished the fire that had burned a 15-by-25-foot area.
Fireworks and mortar tubes were observed in the burned grass, according to apolice report. The homeowner confirmed that the fireworks were the kind which are illegal in Minnesota, the report added.
According to the report, the homeowner, Carl Almer, was issued the citation after allegedly telling officers he lit the fireworks in tall grasses on his property and one detonated near the ground, igniting the grass fire. Reports added that Almer told officers he let the fire burn to kill off invasive weeds.