By LESLEY TOTH, Mille Lacs County Times
After an altercation with police, two men were arrested Saturday night near the Holiday gas station on Central Avenue in Milaca.
Milaca Police Chief Todd Quaintance responded to the convenience store after an employee activated the panic alarm. Employees told Quaintance a customer had been acting very strange, and they were concerned he was attempting to drive under the influence.
Quaintance approached the man, Kent Leon Moscho, 19, of Osakis, in his vehicle and determined that he was under the influence of methamphetamines. More officers arrived to assist in the arrest. Upon arrival, officers learned that a passenger in Moscho’s vehicle had a warrant for his arrest. Officers arrested Andrew Vincent Ruppert, 23, of Sauk Centre for the warrant and for fifth degree possession of suspected methamphetamines.
According to the criminal complaint, Moscho became more and more agitated as officers attempted to place him under arrest. Officers were able to handcuff Moscho for possession of a pipe that appeared to contain methamphetamine residue and placed him in the back of Quaintance’s squad car. As law enforcement were talking to another passenger in the vehicle, Moscho allegedly broke free of his handcuffs and began striking the squad’s cage and windows.
Moscho allegedly injured the hand of one officer as he tried to take hold of the handcuff through the squad’s window. Officers took Moscho out of the vehicle to re-handcuff him when he allegedly threatened to bite a Mille Lacs County deputy. Moscho was also able to pull a Leatherman-like tool out of his pocket and attempted to pull it open. It was then that officers took Moscho to the ground where he allegedly continued to be violent and combative.
At one point, the criminal complaint indicates that Moscho allegedly was able to throw three officers away from him at once. The fight ended up on Highway 23, stopping traffic. Officers pepper-sprayed Moscho but he was initially unaffected, the complaint states.
Officers were eventually able to again get handcuffs on Moscho and attempted to shackle his legs to keep him from kicking at law enforcement. During the shackling process, Chief Quaintance’s fingers became entangled in the chain, causing them to bleed. An ambulance was on the scene and emergency medical personnel were able to treat Quaintance’s injuries and administer a sedative to Moscho. Once sedated, officers were able to transport Moscho to the Mille Lacs County Jail.
Moscho has been charged with two counts of fourth degree assault of a peace officer, fifth degree possession of a controlled substance and obstructing the legal process. The charges carry maximum combined penalties of up to 13 years in jail and $25,000 in fines.