St. Paul police sergeant assaulted, breaks nose during traffic stop

A St. Paul police sergeant suffered a broken nose and concussion after being assaulted during a traffic stop early Friday morning.

According to Sgt. Mike Ernster, at about 12:30 a.m., Sgt. Alex Graham made a traffic stop on a vehicle for speeding near the intersection of Larpenteur Avenue W and Dale Street N.

When Graham made the stop, the driver of the vehicle exited suddenly. The report states the driver was unsteady on his feet when he exited. Concerned the driver may step into traffic, Graham tried to get him to walk to the shoulder of the roadway. Instead, Ernster said the male driver, later identified as 39-year-old George Douglas Gant, from Minneapolis, went towards Graham’s squad car. The sergeant continued to speak to Gant in an attempt to get him to a safer location, but Gant did not seem to understand what was being said to him.

As Gant appeared to lose his balance, Graham grabbed onto his left arm in an attempt to prevent him from falling. Once the sergeant did this action, police say Gant spun against the squad and started to "aggressively" come at the sergeant. Gant punched Graham in the face, causing him to fall backward onto the ground, striking his head on the pavement. Graham used a chemical irritant on Gant which had little effect. While on the ground, Gant continued punching Graham.

During the assault, a Roseville police officer who was in the area stopped to help Graham. Police say that officer deployed their electronic control device which stopped the assault. Graham and the Roseville officer were then able to control Gant and take him into custody.

Gant was transported to Regions Hospital for evaluation due to his erratic behavior by St. Paul Fire paramedics. A search warrant was written to draw blood from Gant.

There is no other information at this time.