Man Gets Probation For Punching Trooper Who Responded To Drunken Driving Crash

22December 2021

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota man was sentenced Tuesday to three years probation after pleading guilty to assaulting a Minnesota state trooper earlier this year following a drunken driving crash in the Twin Cities.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced that Matthew Cleve, 39, of Zimmerman, was sentenced to 366 days in prison stayed and three years probation. According to prosecutors, Cleve will need to abstain from any alcohol or drug use during his probation, submit to random drug testing and attend a DWI victim panel.

If Cleve violates his probation, he faces time behind bars.

Matthew Cleve (credit: Hennepin County)

Cleve pleaded guilty on Nov. 1 of fourth-degree aggravated assault on a peace officer, attempting to disarm a peace officer, and DWI. According to a criminal complaint, Cleve drank and drove on Jan. 3 and crashed his car into a retaining wall on Highway 252 in Brooklyn Center.

A state trooper responding to the crash asked Cleve not to walk away from the scene, but Cleve ignored him. When the trooper tried to stop Cleve, he punched the trooper in the face, pulled him to the ground and tried to take his gun.

A good Samaritan named Vincent Williams intervened and pulled Cleve off the trooper. Eventually, they subdued Cleve and got him in handcuffs.

According to prosecutors, Cleve has three previous DWI convictions. At the time of the January crash, his driver’s license was canceled.

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