A Winona man has been charged with assaulting a peace officer after he allegedly pushed a Winona County Sheriff’s deputy down a set of stairs, causing minor injuries. Deputies arrested Phillip Allen Heyer, 26, of Winona, and shocked him twice with Tasers after he became entangled with deputies following their response to a report of domestic assault.
At 12:39 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, deputies responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at a residence on County Road 12 east of Wilson. The caller heard a disturbance going on in the residence and an adult female yelling, “Call the police!”
When deputies arrived at the residence, they began talking with an adult female who was sitting on the steps outside the residence, when Heyer stepped outside and asked why the deputies where there. According to the report, Heyer accused the woman of calling the police, and said that no domestic incident had occurred. The woman stated that she wanted to leave and called her father to pick her up.
While a female deputy spoke with the woman, a male deputy tried to talk with Heyer, but Heyer turned to go back inside. According to the report, Heyer said he asked a deputy if he was under arrest, the deputy said he was not, and Heyer said he would be inside if they had more questions. A male deputy yelled at Heyer, and said that he wanted to talk with him. Heyer continued walking in and the male deputy reached for Heyer as he going in the door, grabbing him by the arm. Heyer reportedly pushed the deputy, causing him to fall down a set of concrete steps, badly spraining his ankle upon landing. The deputy may have also suffered knee injuries.
Rising painfully to his feet, the male deputy called for help from his female partner who was around the side of the house, talking with the woman. When the female deputy turned the corner she reported seeing the male deputy and Heyer with their hands on each other, fighting. Heyer was grabbing the deputy by his vest and the deputy was pushing Heyer away, she reported. According to her report, the female deputy ordered Heyer to put his hands up; he continued resisting, and she fired and struck him with her Taser. Heyer was then arrested. Heyer reportedly said, “I almost dodged your Taser, then I would have been gone.” Heyer was swearing at officers on the way to the squad car, a court complaint alleges.
The violence continued during a search of Heyer’s person, deputies said. According to the male deputy’s report, Heyer began resisted again during the search. Heyer struggled against the deputy and one of his handcuffs came loose, and deputies shocked Heyer again, the male deputy reported.
The female deputy’s report did not mention a handcuff coming loose. She reported hearing a thump and then saw Heyer, who was up against the squad car, turn to face the male deputy. Heyer would not obey orders to turn back around and was subsequently shocked again, she reported.
Heyer said that he did not push the deputy down the stairs, but rather tried to catch him and said that the male deputy had slammed him up against the squad car.
The Winona County Attorney’s Office has charged Heyer with felony fourth-degree assault causing demonstrable harm to a peace officer and obstructing the legal process by force. If convicted of the felony assault charge, Heyer could face three years in prison and a $6,000 fine.
The female who had been at the residence told deputies that the domestic disturbance had only been a verbal argument. No referrals for domestic assault were made.