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Man faces felony charge in assault of Willmar officer

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WILLMAR — A Willmar man faces an assault charge after authorities say he hit a Willmar police officer in the head during a traffic stop Thursday.

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Douglas Robert Blom, 55, appeared in court Friday on a felony charge of fourth-degree assault of a peace officer. Unconditional bail was set at $25,000. Blom also faces a gross misdemeanor charge of violating the conditions of a restricted driver’s license and a speeding charge.

Police Chief David Wyffels said Officer Joshua Helgeson was recovering from his injuries, including cuts and scrapes and a bump on the head, and was expected to be back on patrol soon.

A criminal complaint says Helgeson pulled over a vehicle exceeding the speed limit Thursday afternoon, and the driver, later identified as Blom, was upset and cursing at him. Blom punched the officer in the left side of his head when Helgeson put his hand on Blom’s shoulder in an effort to keep him in his car, the complaint says.

Helgeson activated his Taser, which seemed to have no effect, the complaint says. Helgeson used Mace on Blom and wrestled him to the ground. Blom was subdued when other officers arrived.

Helgeson was taken to a hospital for treatment and released. Blom was also taken to a hospital after he complained of skin abrasions and exposure to the chemical spray.

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