Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat fights off robbers

Mike Opat.
Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat.
MPR Photo/Brandt Williams

(AP) - Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat escaped with some bumps and bruises and a scratched forehead but lost his Jeep when he was accosted by two robbers outside his Robbinsdale home.

Opat said he was about to get into his Jeep about 10 p.m. Tuesday when he saw two strangers approaching, nodded in greeting and turned to slip the key into the lock of the vehicle. Then he was hit with the butt of a sawed-off shotgun, knocked down and punched.

Opat, a former corrections officer, said he grabbed the gun barrel, wrestled with the robbers and was able to break free and run down the alley to a neighbor's home.

The robbers fled in the 1999 Jeep, taking his wallet, cell phone and Blackberry, Opat said.

Robbinsdale police recovered the Jeep but as of Wednesday evening hadn't made any arrests.

"He was probably just at the wrong place at the wrong time," said Police Chief Wayne Shellum. "We don't have a lot of leads, but we do have some and we are looking at everything that we can."

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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