Little Falls City Councilman Crowder charged with three misdemeanors

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.





  • tmac

    Blaming this on the mayor?

    Just in case you did not know Brian, the police are not the one charging you with any crime, it is the county attorney and last I knew the mayor is not his boss.

    • robin hensel

      Tmac… you really not understand what’s really going on or are you just PRETENDING?

      • tmac

        Maybe it is you ignoring things, like Crowder’s behavior.
        He was not charged the first time (first we know of anyway) he was in an altercation with an elderly person but was not so lucky this time.

      • Mitch Rapp

        Hey Robin. You know why I think you would make a terrible city council member? Even when you’re wrong, and you know you’re wrong, you don’t admit it. We don’t need people to staunchly stand on one side or the other on issues. We need someone who can admit when they may have messed up, and do their best to fix it. These previous comments by you are the exact reason why you will make a terrible city official.

    • Middendorf said he reviewed LFPD police reports and made his decision. He never returned Brian Crowder’s calls, he never interviewed Crowder.

      • Rick Witte

        Jody, so what? Did he talk to the other individual, or did he just rely on the Police investigation? You suggest that this may well be politically motivated as does Mr. Crowder, but then does that also mean that the past decision to not file charges was also politically motivated in Mr. Crowders favour

  • Concerned Citizen

    I commend the County attorney for filing these charges against Mr Crowder. He has been allowed to Threaten, Mis-Treat, & plain Disrepect the elderly of Little Falls,(and anyone else who doesn’t side with his political Beliefs or agendas) for far too long.
    It wasn’t that long ago, that he Threatened and Physically Assaulted his very own Elderly Aunt. Unfortunately, charges weren’t filed regarding that assault. It’s high time Mr Crowder is held accountable for his actions, utter contempt, and disregard for the elderly & others who don’t agree with him.
    Too many people in this community have been threatened, harrassed, and mis-treated by Mr Crowder for far too long. In reality, I was totally disappointed in the county attorney when he chose not to press charges against him when he Physically overpowered & Assaulted his very own Aunt.
    Anyone with as short of a Temper as Mr Crowder has, truly has no business being involved in any aspect of Governance. The residents of Little Falls deserve better than that, and quite frankly, should be offended by Mr Crowders actions, and demand his Immediate Resignation from the city Council.

  • Concerned Citizen

    This is truly Dispicable & Cowardly behavior by an elected Official of the people…. Not to mention the fact that its not the 1st time he has done somthing like this…. How soon people forget…..
    If Mr Crowder had a Shread of Humanity, Morality, or Values, he would’ve Immediately submitted his Resignation from his Position on the City Council, after obviously losing his temper & physically assaulting his Elderly Aunt back in Aug of 2011. Fortunately for the citizens of Little Falls, the county attorney decided to actually file the rightful charges this time. Maybe now that MR Crowder has Physically assaulted yet another elderly citizen of Little Falls, I would hope that the Council votes for his immediate removal from his elected position on the council. He should also be Barred from running for any future Elected positions, as his Abusive actions, Past & Present, make it obvious that he is not a mentally competant individual, responsible enough to represent the people of Little Falls.

    • Rick Witte

      According to the City Charter, if I remember correctly, Mr. Crowder can only be removed if convicted of a Felony. He has not been so charged. At this point in time a recall petition, initiated by citizens, and in accordance with the City Charter, would not be wise financially when there is an election only months away. It wouldnt make sense to have the City pay for an election now when there is already one scheduled in November.

      At that point, should he chose to run for another term as the at-large-Councilman, the voters of the City can determine whether or not he should continue in service to the City.