A Minneapolis police sergeant and SWAT officer, who was apparently angered by a loud cellphone conversation, was charged with assault Monday for allegedly punching a man in the head, seriously injuring him.
Minneapolis police Sgt. David Clifford, the executive officer of the Minneapolis Police SWAT unit, was in the Anoka County Jail on Monday. He is charged with third-degree assault, and is scheduled to make his first court appearance Tuesday.
"You wouldn't think a police officer would behave in this way," said Anoka County Sheriff's Cmdr. Paul Sommer. "It's kind of a shock to our system."
Sommer identified the victim as Brian Keith Vander Lee, 34, of Ramsey. The hospital was not providing information about Vander Lee's condition, but Sommer said that, as of Monday morning, Vander Lee was on life support and had undergone two brain surgeries.
Minneapolis Star Tribune spokesman Steve Yaeger said Monday evening that Vander Lee is an account executive in advertising sales at the newspaper. A report in the newspaper also said that he is 43 years old.
Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press