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Brainerd man faces 8 counts in officer assault

Photo illustration, Metro Creative Graphics, Inc.

A 26-year-old Brainerd man faces eight counts of criminal charges after assaulting a police officer who was trying to help him.

According to the criminal complaint, at 11 p.m. April 4, Brainerd officers were dispatched to a bar on the 300 block of South Sixth Street in Brainerd, in response to a patron who had fallen off of a bar stool and was lying on the ground at the front entrance unconscious.

Upon responding, an officer observed Nicholas Reese Clements lying on his back face up and he appeared to be unconscious. The officer knelt down next to him to assess him while speaking to others in the bar about what happened. After about 10 seconds, the complaint stated, Clements opened his eyes, looked directly at the officer and started swearing and using racial slurs toward the officer. Clements then attempted to punch the officer, who was able to avoid the punch.

The officer secured Clement's arm with his left hand and secured his left arm using his right knee. At this point, the defendant allegedly attempted to bite the officer's right leg but was only getting a portion of a pant leg and boot into his mouth, the complaint stated. The officer secured the defendant's face toward the ground.

Paramedics and other officers arrived on scene and the defendant was secured and taken into custody. Clements continued to yell profanities the entire time. The defendant was observed to be highly intoxicated with the odor of alcohol on his breath, slurred speech and unsteadiness of his feet. A preliminary breath test indicated a blood alcohol content of .18, the complaint stated.

Clements was placed in the rear of the squad car, where he allegedly began kicking the windows. Responders decided he should be medically cleared prior to transportation to the Crow Wing County Jail. While en route to the emergency room, the officer reported the defendant continued to shout a variety of curse words and derogatory racial slurs. On two occasions, Clements allegedly told the officer he was going to kill him.

While at the emergency room waiting to be examined, Clements continued to loudly yell racial slurs in front of others, the complaint stated. His voice could be heard throughout as it echoed down the hallways. As he was escorted into an exam room, Clements allegedly turned his head and spit into the officer's face, striking him in the eye. He continued to use profanity and once medically cleared, he was transported to the Crow Wing County Jail.

Clements was charged April 9 in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd with two felonies: making terroristic threats and fourth-degree assault of a police officer by transferring bodily fluids at officer; three gross misdemeanors: fourth-degree assault of a police officer with the intent to cause injury, stalking with the intent to injure and obstructing the legal process; and three misdemeanors: obstructing the legal process and two counts of disorderly conduct for fighting and using offensive and abusive behavior.

Clements appeared before Judge Kristine DeMay, who set unconditional bail at $25,000, or he could be released with conditions at no cost. Per those conditions, the Brainerd man cannot leave the state, must keep all future court appearances, may not use alcohol or controlled substances, may not enter any bars or liquor establishments and may not possess any firearms or dangerous weapons.

Clements is no longer in the Crow Wing County Jail. His next court appearance is May 29.