Charge upgraded for sergeant accused in bar attack - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Charge upgraded for sergeant accused in bar attack


ANOKA, Minn. (AP) -- A Minneapolis police sergeant accused of punching a man while off-duty at an Andover bar is facing a more serious charge.

The Anoka County Attorney has upgraded a third-degree assault charge to first-degree assault against 47-year-old David Clifford.

A criminal complaint says Clifford told police he "took offense to some language" Brian Vander Lee was using on the patio of Tanner's Station last month and asked him to stop. Clifford told authorities he went over to Vander Lee, and when Vander Lee stood up and cursed, Clifford punched him, thinking he was going to be hit himself.

KARE-TV reports prosecutors say the charge was increased because of the severity of injuries to Vander Lee, who has undergone two surgeries to relieve bleeding on his brain.

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