Little Falls Councilman Brian Paul Klein Crowder, 50, has been charged with three criminal charges stemming from a May 24 incident at the Oakland Cemetery in Little Falls.
In the complaint, Crowder is accused of confronting Charlie Sprandel, 84, who was driving through the cemetery, frightening him, jumping on his car and breaking Sprandel’s sunglasses. The criminal complaint was filed by the Morrison County Attorney’s Office and signed by District Court Judge Conrad Freeberg Thursday.
County Attorney Brian Middendorf said, “The decision whether or not to file criminal charges against a person is the most important and serious decision a prosecutor has to make. It is a duty that I never take lightly. Accordingly, I took a hard look at all the evidence provided to me by the Little Falls Police Department regarding the altercation that occurred in the Oakland Cemetery on May 24. Following that review, I am convinced that Brian Paul Klein Crowder committed several crimes against an innocent, elderly victim.”
Crowder is charged with three misdemeanors: Assault in the fifth degree, disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property in the fourth degree.
His first appearance in Morrison County District Court will be scheduled in the weeks ahead.
“This is completely politically motivated,” said Crowder. “Remember the mayor of Little Falls is the head of the Police Department and they take orders from her.”
“This is totally news to me. I was a pedestrian in the Oakland Cemetery and was assaulted by a truck. When police interviewed the groundskeeper, he reported that we have had problems with the driver before. This is a miscarriage of justice,” Crowder said.
“The police handled the investigation and County Attorney Middendorf filed the charges and I am not his boss. I had nothing to do with the investigation,” said Little Falls Mayor Cathy VanRisseghem.
Little Falls Police Chief Greg Schirmers said, “Crowder reported this incident to us and through the investigation these charges have been brought.”
Sprandel told the Record that when attacked, he was putting out flags on veteran’s graves for Memorial Day. It’s something he has done every Memorial Day weekend for 40 years.