A Minn. man was stopped for a bad headlight. A police officer was then tased, bit by dog

Body: 
Stephen J. Hietala

DILWORTH, Minn. – An early morning patrol went from bad to worse for a Dilworth police officer who stopped a driver for a bad headlight early Wednesday, Aug. 2.

According to documents filed in Clay County District Court:

After Officer Brad Browning stopped the vehicle for a non-working headlight about 1:45 a.m., he determined the driver, Stephen J. Hietala, 27, of Perham, Minn., had an active arrest warrant from Otter Tail County for an alleged assault on a peace officer.

Browning called for backup, and a Moorhead police officer arrived.

As the two officers tried to handcuff Hietala, the suspect resisted and the Moorhead officer attempted to shock him with a Taser.

However, it was Officer Browning who was zapped by the Taser, and Hietala fled. Browning and the Moorhead officer then gave chase.

After they lost sight of Hietala, a perimeter was set up and a Clay County police dog was brought in.

When Hietala was found hiding between two garages in Dilworth, the police dog was deployed after Hietala refused to obey commands to put up his hands.

The dog mistook Browning for the suspect, and Browning suffered a bite to his leg in the area of his upper hamstring, said Dilworth Police Chief Ty Sharpe.

Hietala was ultimately subdued and booked into the Clay County Jail.

Browning had six staples put in his leg to close the dog bite, and he is taking some days off to recover, Sharpe said.

Hietala faces six misdemeanor charges, including fleeing a peace officer, possessing a small amount of marijuana and obstructing the legal process. Court records did not list an attorney for him.