Police Sergeant in Bar Confrontation Facing Upgraded Charge
A Minneapolis police sergeant is facing a more serious charge for allegedly punching a man while off-duty at an Andover bar.
Forty-seven-year-old David Clifford was originally charged with third-degree assault, but that charge has now been upgraded to first-degree assault for inflicting “great bodily harm,” according to a criminal complaint from the Anoka County Attorney’s Office.
Forty-three-year-old Brian Vander Lee was allegedly punched by Clifford at a restaurant patio in Andover on Saturday, June 16.
In the criminal complaint, Clifford said he took offense to language Vander Lee was using and asked him to stop. Vander Lee allegedly continued using the language for another 5 to 10 minutes, and Clifford approached Vander Lee’s table a second time. Clifford says Vander Lee then cursed and stood up from his chair, and fearing he was going to be hit, Clifford punched Vander Lee first.
Clifford then left the bar area and was picked up by his wife, according to the complaint.
Because of the altercation, Vander Lee was hospitalized and had two brain surgeries.
Clifford has a court appearance at 1 p.m. Thursday in Anoka County in front of the Honorable Judge Lawrence Johnson.