A Hennepin County district judge on Tuesday sentenced a 39-year-old Zimmerman man to three years’ probation for attacking a Minnesota state trooper in January.
Matthew William Cleve pleaded guilty Nov. 1 to fourth-degree aggravated assault of a peace officer and attempting to disarm a peace officer, both felonies, and a misdemeanor DWI in connection with a drunken driving crash.
His 366-day jail sentence is “stayed,” meaning he won’t have to serve the time unless he violates his probation. While under court supervision, he must abstain from drug and alcohol use, submit to random testing and attend a DWI impact panel.
The incident unfolded around 8:30 p.m. Jan. 3, when a motorist following Cleve’s Honda Accord reported seeing the vehicle veer across the road and into a retaining wall on Hwy. 252 by 70th Street in Brooklyn Center.
A state trooper responding to the crash found Cleve walking away from the wreckage, ignoring requests to stop. When the trooper tried to detain him, Cleve punched him in the face, pinned him down and tried to grab the trooper’s handgun, according to the criminal complaint.
Another motorist, who had stopped to make sure Cleve was OK and wait for authorities, pulled Cleve off the trooper and helped restrain him. The trooper was later treated at the hospital for minor injuries.
“I couldn’t imagine driving off and something happening, and I would’ve seen it on the news,” the good Samaritan, Vincent Williams, later told the Star Tribune . “I didn’t know it would get that confrontational.”
Cleve, whose license was revoked, had three previous DWIs and a felony conviction for assault.
Staff writer Kim Hyatt contributed to this report.