A Stillwater man will have felony-level charges of damage to property dismissed if he abides by the terms of his one-year probation.
On June 5, then 18-year-old Daniel Blake Burridge was placed in a diversion program after being charged with felony first-degree damage to property, following an Oct. 27, 2013, incident that resulted in $1,353.53 in vehicle damage. Burridge, now 19, received one year of probation, 30 hours of community service, and was required to pay restitution. If convicted, the maximum potential sentence would have been five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
According to Washington County Attorney Pete Orput, diversion programs allow first-time offenders to avoid convictions if they stay out of trouble during a probation period. He said such programs are common in the metro area for offenses such as low-level property crimes.
According to the criminal complaint against Burridge, officers were dispatched to the Lumberyard Hockey Arena, 1650 Washington Ave., Stillwater, after a report of damage to a vehicle in the parking lot. The complainant, a minor, reported that he was playing three-on-three hockey for a Mahtomedi team against a team from Stillwater. During the hockey game, a member of the Stillwater team, later identified as Burridge, punched the complainant in the face mask several times, and the referee kicked Burridge out of the game, the complaint says. The complainant reported that as he was leaving the arena, Burridge was waiting outside the building and punched him with a closed fist again. The referee intervened again and separated them.
As the victim and a friend walked to his vehicle, Burridge and several other individuals followed. According to the criminal complaint, as the victim backed out of the parking space, Burridge kicked the passenger door and struck the passenger window with his fist. Officers observed a dent and a partial shoe print on the car door.
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Note: This story has been amended because it originally reported that Burridge pleaded guilty to the charges. He was actually placed in a diversion program and will have charges dismissed if he abides by the terms of his probation.