New Brighton man faces multiple charges after domestic incident, threatening police, 10-hour standoff
A suspect who was involved in a domestic situation that turned into an armed standoff with police Wednesday night in New Brighton is facing multiple charges.
Court documents state Peter Michael Dziuk, 67, from New Brighton, has been charged with one felony count of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, one felony count of threats of violence and reckless disregard risk, one felony count of false imprisonment and one misdemeanor count of domestic assault. If found guilty on all counts, Dziuk faces up to over 15 years in prison.
The city of New Brighton and the New Brighton Police Department report a documented history of hostility involving Dziuk over permits for burning and firearms, citations for disorderly conduct and trespass notices. According to the criminal complaint, Dziuk has reguarly emailed city officials over these issues and refers to the police as "Nazi, Zionist Traitors." He alleges that "All of my Neighbors hate the Mother [expletive] POLICE guts." Dziuk recently distributed letters to his neighbors complaining about the police department.
Dziuk and a 64-year-old woman reside at a residence located on the 1500 block of Long Lake Road in the city. Police say Dziuk and the woman had been intimate partners for 10 years but are now roommates. Dziuk occupies the lower level of the home while the woman resides in the upper level.
The criminal complaint states early in day of April 15, New Brighton Police received information from an anonymous caller who claimed to be close to Dziuk. The source said Dziuk made threats against the police. He allegedly planned to set a bonfire to lure police to his residence where he would then "shoot them from a concealed location." He also mentioned suicide, and he planned to take the police with him, according to the complaint. The source told authorities Dziuk was using mushrooms, alcohol and marijuana. Police were advised the man had firearms and was considered "very dangerous."
Later, at about 7:03 p.m., officers responded to a 911 call from the property listed. The woman living at the residence told police that Dziuk was drunk and was becoming violent. He was allegedly destroying property and hitting her, and threatened the woman he would "blow his brains out" if the police were called. The woman went into her office and Dziuk would not allow her to leave the house. Dziuk was noted to possess a shotgun, holding it under his chin, according to the complaint.
When police contacted the suspect by phone, he told them he was angry, and then hung up.
Ramsey County SWAT arrived on scene soon after. They assisted the woman after she exited the house by climbing out a window. SWAT officers witnessed Dziuk on the back deck of the house, where he fired shots. Officers returned fire, and nobody was injured in the exchange.
The standoff with police and Dziuk lasted into the night, ending around 6 a.m. the next day. Officers entered the home, using tear gas and a police canine. They found Dziuk in the lower level of the home and arrested him.
The victim of the residence told police that Dziuk had been drinking and became angry after she would not let him print off letters to distribute to neighbors. After he left and returned to her office, he was holding pruners and the victim told authorities she had feared he was going to stab her. She then grabbed the pruners and threw them under the desk and tried to get by him to leave the room, but he blocked her way, knocked her down, and repeatedly struck her in the head, according to the complaint. She told police she was experiencing pain and dizziness.
After executing a search warrant, police found a shotgun and scoped rifle in the residence. Additionally, they discovered a modified "thin ice" sign posted on the corner of the property. The sign read: "TO NEW BRIGHTON POLICE! BACK OFF!! YOU ARE ON EXTREMELY —-> THIN ICE. I WILL ANNIHILATE YOU."
Dziuk had admitted to all doings in a post-Miranda interview with investigators, according to the complaint. He said the point of him shooting when police were present was "to let them know it's dangerous," calling it a "warning shot."
He is being held on $100,000 bail with no conditions of release.