Hutchinson man charged after officer assaulted, dragged by truck while investigating assault of Menards employee

Hutchinson man charged after officer assaulted, dragged by truck while investigating assault of Menards employee Photo: @davenewworld_2 via Twitter.

Josh Skluzacek
Updated: April 16, 2021 03:40 PM
Created: April 16, 2021 03:25 PM

The man who allegedly assaulted a Menards employee and then sped away from a traffic stop with an officer hanging on to the driver's side window of his pickup in Hutchinson has been charged.

Court records show 61-year-old Luke Oeltjenbruns is charged with first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault and one count of fleeing a peace officer.

A criminal complaint states two Hutchinson police officers were called to the Menards on Montreal Street at about 1:50 p.m. on Wednesday for a reported assault. Officers were able to determine Oeltjenbruns was the suspect described by employees.

Surveillance video showed Oeltjenbruns was pushing a cart filled with long pieces of lumber when a Menards employee stopped near his cart. Oeltjenbruns then began jabbing the employee with a piece of wood.

Video shows Hutchinson police officer hanging on to truck as suspect attempts to flee from traffic stop

Officers arrived and found the truck matching the description and license plate number employees provided and attempted to stop the truck by activating squad lights and squawking the siren, the complaint states. However, the truck didn't stop and continued to slowly drive away, eventually going into the parking lot at Hutchinson Mall, to a roundabout on South Grade Road Southwest before stopping at a red light at Highway 15 South.

The complaint states the officers then got out of the squad car with weapons drawn and approached the truck, commanding Oeltjenbruns to roll down his window and get out of the truck. Oeltjenbruns rolled down his window slightly and told the officers he didn't care and they could shoot him. He then started driving again, and the officers followed until other officers responded and surrounded Oeltjenbruns's truck.

Oeltjenbruns again ignored officers' commands to get out of the vehicle and one of the officers approached to try to de-escalate the situation, the complaint states. After explaining why they were stopping him, Oeltjenbruns continued to refuse officers' commands and one of the officers got onto the truck's running board.

Oeltjenbruns then grabbed the officer's arm and closed it in the window, then drove the truck forward into a squad car, according to the complaint. Oeltjenbruns continued bashing his truck into squad cars with the officer's arm trapped until Oeltjenbruns was able to break free and took off on Highway 15 at a high rate of speed.

Hutchinson man arrested after assaulting Menard's employee, dragging officer with car

Officers had blocked the intersection, and Oeltjenbruns stopped. At that time, the officer trapped on the vehicle was able to retrieve a rescue hammer but Oeltjenbruns took it and hit the officer in the head with it.

The complaint states officers were eventually able to arrest Oeltjenbruns.

The officer was taken to a hospital and received eight metal staples on his head. He also suffered a large abrasion on his arm that was trapped in the window. The Menards employee complained of a headache from being struck multiple times by Oeltjenbruns, and a deputy also noticed a red mark on the victim's head but the employee wasn't taken to a hospital.

Oeltjenbruns's next court appearance is set for May 11.


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