Mask dispute at Hutchinson store leads to hammer attack on police officer

A Hutchinson police officer was hospitalized after a dispute over wearing a face mask at a local store led to an attack on the officer.

Police say the incident began just before 2 p.m. when they responded the Menard’s store on Montreal St SE, where a male employee had been assaulted with lumber following a dispute over wearing a mask.

A release from the Hutchinson Police Department says the officer spotted the man in the Walmart parking lot a short time later and attempted to perform a traffic stop.  The vehicle fled, and led police on a slow-speed pursuit near the Hutchinson Mall, South Grade Road and Highway 15 South, says the release.

The vehicle eventually stopped in the area of Freemont and Highway 15.

“When an officer engaged the suspect through the driver’s side window, the officer became trapped in the window and the driver took off at a high rate of speed with the officer hanging on to the vehicle.” says the release.

The officer was struck in the head with a hammer during the struggle, according to the release.  He was transported to Hutchinson Health for his injuries.  The release from the police department says the officer is in stable condition, but the McLeod County Sheriff’s Office, the lead investigative agency, says the officer has been released.

A 61-year-old man was arrested at the scene, then transported for medical treatment of minor injuries.  The suspect has been booked in the McLeod County Jail, and charges are pending.

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