Herald JournalWinsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Nov. 11, 2002

Threats lead to charges for LP man

By Ryan Gueningsman

"Not making threats, only promises" got a Lester Prairie man in trouble with the law following a confrontation with a minor Sept. 27.

Mitchell John Flatgard, 34 of Lester Prairie, has been charged with four separate offenses ­ fifth degree assault, possession of a dangerous weapon, theft of lost property, and possession of prohibited fireworks.

The assault charge stems from a confrontation with a juvenile over the stabbing of a dog in the 600 block of Central Avenue, according to a criminal complaint. The complaint states that "He got in the juvenile's face, grabbed him by the chin and threatened to hit him," and later stated that he "had no problem dropping a minor."

Flatgard then showed the youth the blade of a switchblade knife, the complaint said, and put his hand to the youth's head in the shape of a gun while continuing to make other threats.

He admitted to doing this to police, saying that he wanted to scare the youth enough for stabbing the dog, which belonged to an acquaintance. Flatgard also said to police that he "doesn't make threats, only promises."

While conducting the search at Flatgard's home on Elm Street Sept. 19, prior to this confrontation, police found a one-hitter pot pipe, marijuana seeds, pellet guns, a cross bow and ammunition, and rifle clips, according to the complaint.

In the master bedroom, police found a switchblade knife, in addition to illegal fireworks located under the bed. Flatgard's wife stated that she did not know any of these items were in the house.

Also found was a wallet that did not belong to Flatgard ­ but rather to someone who had reported it missing four or five months earlier.

"He was not arrested for this because he was not at the scene," said Lester Prairie Police Chief Bob Carlson. "The charges were misdemeanors, so I chose not to place him in custody ­ but rather go through with the formal complaint process."

Flatgard was penalized with each of the four misdemeanors and faces a $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail for each offense. He is awaiting his appearance in court.

This case took longer than normal to process because a separate law enforcement agency was involved in investigating the ammunition, Carlson said.

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