Witness in Derek Chauvin trial charged with domestic assault for incident outside State Fair

A witness who testified in the Derek Chauvin trial for the murder of George Floyd is facing domestic assault charges after being arrested just outside the Minnesota State Fair on Saturday.

A criminal complaint filed in Ramsey County Court names 35-year-old Donald Wynn Williams as a man arrested by St. Paul police after a woman accused him of strangling and slapping her.

This still frame from a body camera video shows Donald Williams near the scene where George Floyd died on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis.(KSTP)

Officers were dispatched to an area near Asbury Street and Midway Parkway, about one block east of the main entrance to the Minnesota State Fair, around 5:14 p.m. on Saturday, according to the complaint.

Police then spoke to a woman who said that Williams attacked her over an argument about buying ice. It allegedly began when she and her children were selling water to fairgoers, and Williams, her ex-boyfriend, sent a text message telling her to buy ice. The woman refused, saying she didn’t want to leave her children alone, and the two argued through texts.

The woman said she then returned to her vehicle and that Williams began yelling at her about buying ice. He then approached her driver’s side window, reached inside and grabbed her by the throat, strangling her. He then struck her face, according to the complaint. Officers would later confirm seeing injuries to her neck and cheek. The woman said that Williams stopped when someone in the area yelled, “Hey!” Williams fled the area after saying something to the woman about being “unprofessional.”

Police then found Williams nearby with his 9-year-old daughter. The complaint states that Williams resisted arrest and that fought with police officers. Williams complied after one officer pointed a stun gun at him with the red laser sight activated.

After being handcuffed, police said Williams continued to resist by using his body weight to try to prevent officers from placing him in the squad car. He then allegedly became verbally hostile to police and kicked the door of the squad after he was placed inside. Officers report that Williams said he could harm and kill them if he wasn’t in handcuffs, while also telling one officer that he knew their family and would “come after them.” Williams added that the officers were “lucky” he didn’t grab something from out of his vehicle that would kill them, according to the complaint.

During a Mirandized statement, Williams said that he is romantically involved with the woman police spoke with, and that she was also a business partner. The complaint states he admitted that they had argued about getting ice to keep the water cold, but denied strangling, striking or touching her.

Williams said he did not comply with officers because he did not want his daughter to be left alone. He said that he is a professional fighter and used his wrestling skills to prevent an officer from grabbing his legs to take him to the ground.

Williams also said he was very angry about being arrested and that he suffers from PTSD after witnessing George Floyd’s murder and testifying at the trial. He added that he has been asked to testify at the upcoming trials as well. The complaint states Williams said he couldn’t remember what he said in the squad car on the way to jail.

Court records show Williams is charged with two counts of domestic assault stemming from the alleged incident outside the State Fair.

Williams currently has a case pending for obstructing the legal process. Court documents state that he refused to comply with an officer’s commands during a traffic stop in February 2020. The arresting officer noted that Williams had a revoked driver’s license and two outstanding warrants for his arrest. The next next court appearance for that case is set for Oct. 3.

Williams is also on probation for a fifth-degree assault charge that was given a continuance for dismissal on Aug. 18. The agreement in the continuance for dismissal states that Williams must remain law-abiding for the charges to be dismissed.

The hearing for the domestic assault charges against Williams is set for Sept. 26.