UPDATE: Suspect Identified, Cited in Traverse Trail Assault

DULUTH, Minn. – A firefighter of nearly 20 years is accused of assaulting a woman on a Duluth trail on Friday morning after she told him to leash his dogs.

According to the Duluth Police Department, a 65-year-old woman was on the Duluth Traverse Trail near 84th Avenue when she was assaulted.

The attack leaving her face bruised and bloody.

“I’m angry that that happened to a sweet lady that has our back,” said William Elwood Martz, the neighbor of the assault victim.

Duluth Police believe the victim was on the trail when she encountered a 48-year-old man riding a bike on the trail with three off-leash dogs.

She then asked the man to leash his dogs which prompted the assault.

Police have cited Duluth Firefighter Conrad Sunde with 5th-degree assault, a misdemeanor, and a citation for having the dogs off-leash.

Sunde was also named the 2012 Kiwanis Club of Friendly Duluth’s firefighter of the year.

Duluth Police believe Sunde struck the victim with his bicycle slamming her to the ground before shoving her again while she laid there.

The victim’s neighbor William Martz took photos of her after the assault and was given permission by the woman to release them to Fox 21.

The victim came to his home shortly after the incident.

“It was shocking to see her in that state because usually, she’s coming down here to bring me banana bread,” said Martz.

Duluth’s Chief Administrative Officer, Noah Schuchman released a statement reading:

“We are aware of an incident involving a City of Duluth employee. We take these matters very seriously. Because this is a personnel matter, the City of Duluth will have no further comment at this time.”

Shortly after the incident, Martz and other neighbors shared the victim’s photos on Facebook with a description of the suspect, hoping to find justice for a woman Martz says one of the kindest in the community.

“Mary is a wonderfully kind person she’s retired she’s 65 years old she’s an asset to the community she helps out anybody that needs help, she’s willing to give you the shirt off your back,” said Martz.

Firefighter Sunde turned himself into police Friday after an alert went out to the public about the suspect’s description.

He was cited and arrested but was not taken to jail.

A police spokesperson says the department cannot lodge someone for a misdemeanor without witnesses.

The city has not said if Sunde is on any type of administrative leave.

As for the victim, she is at home resting and recovering from her injuries.

Categories: Minnesota, News, News – Latest News