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Man pleads not guilty to threatening government employee with a hammer

Brian Boettcher Brian Boettcher

Court documents state he was apparently upset over county mowing.

Posted: Aug. 20, 2018 2:17 PM
Updated: Aug. 20, 2018 2:41 PM

ALBERT LEA, Minn. – A man is pleading not guilty to threatening a Freeborn County employee with a hammer.

Brian George Boettcher, 63 of Walters, is charged with 2nd-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and threats of violence. According to court documents, the county employee was mowing along County Highway 17 on July 16 when a van pulled ahead and stopped directly in front of him. The Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office says the driver of the van, identified as Boettcher, got out and stood in the middle of the highway with his cell phone.

The county employee says he stopped his tractor, turned off the mower, and took a photo of Boettcher. The employee says that’s when Boettcher approached the tractor in an apparently enraged state with a claw hammer.

Boettcher is accused of yelling at the county employee about grass in the road and waving the hammer over the employee’s head and shoulders. Boettcher is also accused of making an overhead swinging motion with the hammer and telling the employee he was going to hit him. The employee told investigators he was scared and though Boettcher could have seriously injured or killed him.

Deputies say Boettcher left the scene but was arrested later after a traffic stop. Deputies say Boettcher admitted stopping and confronting the county employee with a hammer in his hand.

Boettcher’s trial is scheduled to begin on November 13.

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