Zumbrota man suspected in hammer-to-face assaultA Zumbrota man faces prison time after allegedly smashing another man in the face with a hammer.
By: Mike Longaecker, The Republican Eagle
A Zumbrota man faces prison time after allegedly smashing another man in the face with a hammer.
Goodhue County prosecutors on Monday charged Joshua Michael Sommers with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, a felony. The 22-year-old also was charged with fifth-degree assault and fleeing police - both misdemeanors.
According to a criminal complaint, Zumbrota police were called at to a West Sixth Street residence for a possible assault with a beer bottle.
The first officer on the scene at 1:19 a.m. spotted Sommers about to enter a vehicle. The incident quickly turned into a foot chase through Zumbrota. Police there set up a perimeter to ensnare the suspect, eventually tackling him to the ground near Third Street and West Avenue.
Sommers was first taken to a Rochester detox facility before being booked at Goodhue County jail.
A witness to the alleged assault said Sommers and the purported victim arrived at the West Sixth Street residence asking to stay there. The two men then began arguing over keys to a pickup truck parked outside the residence.
The argument turned physical, the witness said. He reported Sommers pulled the alleged victim out the door of the residence, where the fight spilled out onto the sidewalk.
"They literally rolled down the sidewalk fighting," the complaint states.
The battle moved toward the pickup truck, where the witness reported seeing Sommers pulling something out of the truck and using it to strike the other man in the face.
The witness said he originally thought Sommers struck the man with a beer bottle, since he heard an object clank on the ground.
The alleged victim, who was found with a bloody mouth and swollen lips, told Zumbrota police that he had fallen. He later told police "nothing happened" and that he had hit himself.
Another witness to the incident said she saw Sommers strike the other man with an object.
Sommers criminal history includes a 2009 conviction for gross misdemeanor domestic assault.
If convicted of the felony charge, he faces a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine.