Offender arrested in Pequot PL police officer injured during arrest of Litzau
A Level 3 registered predatory offender living in rural Pine River was arrested Tuesday in Pequot Lakes.
Robert Arthur Litzau, 68, of rural Pine River, appeared in Crow Wing County District Court Thursday morning after he was arrested on a felony charge of knowingly violating predatory registration requirements/intentionally providing false information and a gross misdemeanor charge of obstructing the legal process with force, violence or the threat of violence.
Parents in the Pequot Lakes School District had been notified through a mass voicemail message Jan. 28 from Superintendent Rick Linnell that they needed to be aware that Litzau had been hanging around Pequot Lakes.
According to the criminal complaint, Crow Wing County Investigator D.J. Downie was contacted Jan. 28 with new information about Litzau and his actions occurring in the county.
The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department and Pequot Lakes Police Department had fielded complaints from two separate churches in Pequot Lakes involving Litzau’s presence on church property. In one of the cases, Litzau was present with several juveniles and began a conversation with two juvenile males, talking to them about helping him build a cabin in the woods.
Litzau has a history of sexual contact with adolescent males, ages 14-15. He also has a long history of opposition to his statutory duty to register as a predatory offender. A Level 3 offender is the highest risk level for re-offending.
The criminal complaint states that police officers observed Litzau driving a white Chevrolet van when police were called to the second complaint Jan. 26 at St. Alice Catholic Church in Pequot Lakes.
Downie contacted the Cass County Sheriff’s Office and learned that Litzau had made no attempts to register a new license plate or vehicles. The license plate on his white van did not come back on file when run through the state predatory offender database. On Jan. 28, Downie contacted the Minnesota Department of Motor Vehicles and learned the license plate was issued to a vehicle registered by Litzau on Dec. 1, 2010.
On Jan. 28, Downie requested all licensed police officers in Crow Wing County attempt to locate Litzau driving the vehicle. On Tuesday, Cass County Deputy Tony Cyr reported that Litzau’s van had pulled in to the SuperAmerica gas station in Pequot Lakes. Cyr recognized the driver as Litzau.
Pequot Lakes officer John Ryan responded and arrived at the gas station at 10:18 p.m. Tuesday, the complaint stated.
Litzau had been talking to Cyr and they were standing behind Litzau’s van looking at the license plate. Ryan called Crow Wing County dispatch center to verify that the probable cause arrest from Downie was still active. While waiting for a reply, Litzau began waving his hands at Cyr and appeared to be getting upset.
According to the complaint, Ryan told Litzau twice he was under arrest and to put his hands behind his back. When Litzau did not comply, Ryan took hold of his arm. Litzau took a swing at Ryan and hit his head with either his hand or elbow. The blow knocked Ryan’s glasses from his face, damaging his frames and lenses. Ryan took Litzau to the ground and placed a handcuff on his left hand. Ryan then told Litzau to stop resisting but he refused to pull his right hand from under him. Cyr freed Litzau’s hand and was able to securely handcuff him.
During the arrest Ryan suffered abrasions to the head and face as well as damage to his glasses.
Litzau appeared Thursday before Judge Earl E. Maus. Unconditional bail/bond was set at $25,000 while conditional bail/bond was set at $1,000. He was ordered to have no contact with individuals under the age of 18 unless their parent or guardian was present and to have no contact with Ryan. He is not allowed to possess firearms and to not leave the state. As of Thursday afternoon, Litzau remained in the Crow Wing County Jail.
An omnibus hearing was scheduled for 9 a.m. Feb. 15.
In 1999 Litzau pleaded guilty in Crow Wing County District Court to felony fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. In return for his plea, charges of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, fourth degree assault and obstructing the legal process were dismissed.
For the charge of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct Litzau was sentenced to one year and one day in prison and became subject to all statutes regarding sex offenders.
In 2009 in Crow Wing County, Litzau was convicted of knowingly violating registration requirements for predatory offenders, a felony, and sentenced to 17 months in prison. He currently faces two felony charges in Cass County of knowingly violating predatory offender registration and second-degree burglary stemming from a May 27, 2010, incident in rural Pine River.
Litzau had been released from prison May 5, 2010.
JODIE TWEED may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5858.