Mpls. SWAT Officer Charged in Andover Bar Assault
A Minneapolis SWAT officer is charged with third degree assault for allegedly punching a man at an Andover bar, leaving him with serious injuries.
Sgt. David Clifford was in jail Monday evening and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday morning.
Clifford is accused of punching 34-year-old Brian Keith Vanderlee at Tanner's Station in Andover Saturday evening. Witnesses say the punch caused Vanderlee to fall backwards and hit his head on the ground.
Clifford fled and was picked up in a vehicle by a woman, later identified as his wife.
Clifford turned himself in at the Anoka County Sheriff's Office Sunday, telling authorities he'd been offended by Vanderlee's language and had asked him to stop. According to the complaint, Clifford said he had approached Vanderlee again when the man stood up and cursed at him. Clifford said he believed Vanderlee was going to strike him, so he punched him.
Vanderlee was on life support Monday after two brain surgeries.
Clifford has been with the Minneapolis Police Department since 1993 and was placed on home assignment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.