Le Center man accused of assaulting Mankato officer during traffic stop

A Le Center man is accused of assaulting a Mankato police officer during a traffic stop.

Gene Forrest Wetch, 46, was charged Wednesday in Blue Earth County court with felony counts of 4th-degree assault, attempting to disarm a peace officer, and obstructing the legal process.

A criminal complaint says the officer stopped Wetch at midnight on Feb 15 for a trailer with no working tail lights.  Police reports say the tongue of the trailer had been cut off and it was secured to the vehicle’s bumper with a chain and bolts that were bent and close to failing.

Wetch became agitated and began to raise his voice when the officer pointed out the dangerous nature of the trailer connection, according to the complaint.  Wetch then allegedly “aggressively moved his hand” towards the officer’s face, nearly striking him.

Court documents say Wetch refused to comply with instructions to get back into his vehicle and pushed the officer.  When told he was under arrest, Wetch allegedly grabbed the officer’s neck and again pushed him.

The complaint says Wetch grabbed the officer’s hand when the policeman tried to grab his Taser, prompting the officer to kick him.

Wetch continued to resist arrest until other officers arrived on scene, says the complaint.

Wetch asked to speak to the officer he allegedly assaulted after he was detained.  The criminal complaint says Wetch told the officer several times that he could have killed him.

A police sergeant observed red marks on the officer’s neck when Wetch had grabbed him, according to the complaint.

Wetch also faces two misdemeanor traffic violations.


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