Archive for Dassel

Dassel man responsible for August 2022 standoff sentenced to jail, five years of probation

A man who made threats leading to a day-long standoff with law enforcement at his residence in rural Dassel was sentenced to 365 days in jail and five years of probation, according to the West Central Tribune.

Aaron Mitchel Peterson, 32, was deemed guilty by a jury in January on all 12 charges filed against him in the Aug. 1, 2022, incident. Those convictions include an amended felony charge of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, a felony threats of violence charge and 10 more gross misdemeanor charges for possessing firearms or ammunition while not eligible to do so and for drug possession.

Judge Stephanie Beckman on Monday in Meeker County District Court sentenced Peterson to a 36-month prison sentence for the assault charge, stayed for five years while he serves probation. That sentence is a downward dispositional departure. According to Minnesota’s standard sentencing guidelines, Peterson could have served a presumptive prison sentence.

Beckman ordered an 18-month prison sentence, which was also stayed for five years, for the felony threats of violence charge.

If he successfully completes probation, he will not have to serve the prison time.

Conditions for Peterson include completing a behavioral treatment program and mental health diagnostic assessment and following all recommendations. Peterson will have to write a letter of apology to victims, submit to random searches and give a DNA sample. He is also barred from owning or operating firearms or other dangerous weapons.

Beckman also sentenced Peterson to serve 365 days of jail with credit for 279 days already served. The sentencing order also lists 30-day jail segments in each of the next four years that may be deferred if Peterson is in compliance with probation.

Peterson had been held in custody since January 2023. According to the sentencing order, Peterson was allowed to be released directly to treatment beginning May 9. He is not shown as in custody by the state Department of Corrections.

According to an amended criminal complaint, on Aug. 1, 2022, the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office had initially been dispatched to Peterson’s residence after he had threatened to shoot up a family member’s home when they refused his demands to return his guns.

At the time, Peterson was on probation for a felony offense and could not legally possess firearms, thus the family member refused to turn them over. According to the criminal complaint, the felony offense from a few years prior had also resulted in a standoff between Peterson and law enforcement.

Peterson told the family member that if they called law enforcement that they would be responsible if anyone got hurt, allegedly stating it was “going to be the end of it.”

The family member reported to law enforcement that they believed Peterson was suicidal, using controlled substances, and that he was possibly armed. Given the nature of the report, a SWAT response was enabled and a deputy posted himself outside Peterson’s home anticipating the SWAT team’s arrival.

A man who drove away from Peterson’s residence told the deputy that Peterson had a shotgun stored somewhere in the house and that he did not appear under the influence of any drugs.

During the standoff, officers at different times reported hearing sounds they suspected were gunshots from within the home. A subsequent search after Peterson’s arrest found nine firearms and evidence that Peterson had fired shots in the home during the standoff in the direction of law enforcement officers.

According to the complaint, after continued attempts to communicate with Peterson and deploying gas, officers breached a windowless bathroom on the main floor believing it could have been used as a hiding spot around 8 p.m. the next evening.

Communications continued and chemical rounds were used. Peterson eventually surrendered without incident, was medically cleared and arrested.

Charger robotics team grabs state championship


The Dassel-Cokato robotics team brought home a state title last weekend for the third time in DC history, following the 1998 wrestling team, and 2021 football team.

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Swan Lake Cemetery Board rings in a new era with a different bell


Last fall, a ridiculous crime occurred. A church bell was stolen from a small, pristine stucco chapel in the rural Swan Lake Cemetery outside of Dassel.
As the Enterprise Dispatch reported at the time, people were incredulous that not only could people stoop so low as to steal from a cemetery, but that thieves managed to finagle the 1,000 pound bell out of its very tight spot in the chapel, and make away with it.

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DC sophomore Lance Seifert finds his niche on the Hutch Tigers Cycling team


Like many moms, Shari Neimela followed along and supported her son Lance Seifert’s interests during his youth. One recent summer, Olympic mountain biking captured Lance’s at‐ tention. Soon after that, he had a bike of his own and was practicing riding around obstacles and over jumps.

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Writer Karen Erickson seeks more information for upcoming Smith Lake book


(Editors note: local writer Karen Erickson is working on a second book about local history. Her first was about the Albright’s Mill area; her current project features the Smith Lake area.)
When things are missing, but memories are still lingering, find them before they are gone.
In 1990, a group of Middleville residents wanted to create the history of Albrights and Smith Lake, so their children and grandchildren knew the past.

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Dassel planning commission amendments

The following City Code sections have been amended and adopted by the Dassel City Council on April 17, 2023:
The Planning Commission shall consist of five members appointed by the City Council. At least one, but not more than two, shall be a current member of the City Council. All members of the Planning Commission must be residents of the City of Dassel.
Appointment of Planning Commission members shall be for a term of two calendar years, except the appointment of a City Council member to the Planning Commission shall be for a term of one calendar year. Removal of any Planning Commission member during the member’s term shall require a four-fifths vote of the City Council.
The Commission shall hold at least one regular meeting each month, unless the Chairperson determines that there are no matters for the Commission to consider or address.
Terri Boese
City Clerk/Treasurer
City of Dassel
Published in the Enterprise Dispatch, April 28, 2023. |