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NEWS RELEASE

Andy Skoogman, Director of Communications
CONTACT:
Lt. Eric Roeske  651-201-7146
eric.roeske@state.mn.us
 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 24, 2011
State Patrol Trooper Recovering After Assault
Akeley, Minn. man Faces Felony Charges

ST. PAUL — Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Darcy Gagnon is expected to make a full recovery after being assaulted over the weekend during a DWI arrest.

On Saturday, October 22, 2011, at approximately 1:30 a.m., Trooper Gagnon stopped Elijah Lee Knowles, 26, of Akeley, Minn. on State Highway 34 just east of Dorset corner. After performing field sobriety tests, including a preliminary breathe test, Trooper Gagnon arrested Knowles. As she attempted to handcuff the suspect, Knowles resisted arrest and hit her several times on the head with the trooper’s Taser. Trooper Gagnon required staples to close the wound to her head.

According to the criminal complaint, Knowles then put the Taser to Trooper Gagnon’s head and pulled the trigger, but the safety prevented the Taser from deploying. Knowles then attempted to take her sidearm, but was unable to get her gun. When Hubbard County deputies arrived on the scene, Knowles fled south on County Road 33 at speeds in excess of 100 mph.

Knowles was taken into custody after he attempted to ram two squad cars and crashed his car near Highway 46 and 200th Street in Hubbard County.

Prosecutors charged Knowles with nine counts, including first-degree assault (six felonies and three gross misdemeanors). He is currently being held in Hubbard County on $250,000 bail.

State Patrol officials say Trooper Gagnon’s training helped her survive the attack.

“This incident demonstrates the extreme challenges and dangers our Troopers can face every day as they work to keep our roads safe,” said Kevin Daly, Minnesota State Patrol chief. “Trooper Gagnon used her extensive weapon retention training during the attack which likely saved her life. We are grateful that Trooper Gagnon will make a full recovery.”

 

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