ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- An attorney for a Rochester man arrested for possession of marijuana is contending that Cory Dozark, 30, was defamed by the coverage of his arrest July 10th on KTTC.com. Dozark is facing two felony drug charges.
In a letter to KTTC Television Inc., Michael H. Daub of St. Louis Park claims that the report of Dozark's arrest leads readers "to believe that Mr. Dozark threatened a Rochester Police Department officer writing parking tickets at gunpoint."
The arrest happened on July 7. Rochester police responded to the Civic Center South parking lot around 9:25 p.m. that evening after a female officer reported being threatened at gunpoint. Officers say the officer was writing parking tickets when a man approached her, pulled a gun from his waistband and then, "threatened to kill her if she wrote him a ticket," said Lt. Casey Moilanen of the Rochester Police Department. Lt. Moilanen says the man then walked away, but about an hour later officers tracked down a person who matched the suspect's description. Officers arrested Dozark. They say he did not have a gun on him, but are seeking charges of 5th degree possession of a controlled substance, because he did have a small amount of marijuana.
A KTTC reporter originally obtained the information on Dozark's arrest at the Rochester Police Department's morning briefing from Lt. Moilanen, the officer designated that day to relate cases of significance to the public.
The RPD event report obtained by attorney Daub and given Monday to KTTC shows that officers searched the area of the Riverside Concert immediately after the 9:03 p.m. incident for "a white male in his 40's with short hair and a muscular build wearing a grey tanktop." Believing that the man who threatened the officer had gone that way, they searched the concert crowd but were not able to find a suspect. Then, some 45 minutes later, a community service officer spotted and followed a suspect in the threat investigation because of descriptions of the man's physical appearance and clothing. The suspect was spotted walking by Legends Bar at 11 4th Street SE.
The report says a half hour later, Officer Bert Otto was sent to the rear of Top Shots and Legends Bar and joined the search for a "white male, 6' tall, wearing a white hat, plaid shorts, and backpack" and reports he noticed a man fitting the description at the rear patio area of Legends. When he later approached him inside the bar, Officer Otto reports he was wearing a black t-shirt. A pat-search revealed Dozark did not have any weapons and the officer writes "Dozark told me that he never had a gun and wasn't at the Riverside Concert."
Officers then linked Dozark to a backpack left on the patio and Otto reports: "I asked Dozark why he dumped his backpack on the patio. Dozark told me that it was because his backpack had marijuana in it." Police say they seized 88.6 grams of marijuana with packaging from the backpack.
"Charges were filed July 9th on Dozark alleging 5th Degree Controlled Substance – Sale and 5th Degree Controlled Substance – Possession, both felonies," said Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem.
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