Family Reacts After Assault On Duluth Clean And Safe Worker

DULUTH, Minn.– “She’s doing better, I think it’s more the mental trauma of it. The PTSD so to speak, of it, because that was a very violent attack,” Son of the victim, Jerry, said.

Jerry spoke with us on Wednesday, days after his 65-year-old mom was attacked while on patrol at the DECC as a Duluth Clean and Safe Team worker on the Fourth of July. It all started when she had said to three men that Fourth Fest at Bayfront had been postponed, and they weren’t allowed to be in the DECC ramp.

“At the quiet times, you know it can be a little bit scary, you know. She was just walking by and her voice is up here, and just told him ‘you can’t be here’, and started getting cussed at and yelled at by the guy,” Jerry said.

According to the Criminal Complaint, that’s when 37-year-old Michael Allen Hanson of Duluth grabbed her by the ponytail, and smashed her head against the railing four or five times. She continued to fight back until she able to get away and call the cops. Police and prosecutors say the violent rampage wasn’t over.

An officer caught up with Hanson at the downtown transit authority lobby where Hanson threatened to kill that officer multiple times as he was approached. Investigators say Hanson ignored commands, and as he reached into his pocket, the officer tased him, hitting him in the chest. It didn’t stop the suspect, who struggled with the officer and hit him once in the head.

It took four officers and a DTA security guard to finally get him into handcuffs. Now he’s charged with third-degree assault causing substantial bodily harm, fourth-degree assault on a peace officer, threatening violence, and obstructing the legal process.

“So, he’s behind bars for a while here. When I told my mom that, she was super relieved because she was scared,” said Jerry.

The victim was hospitalized with a back compression fracture, stitches on her eye, and severe bruising. She was released later that night.

Jerry tells us that in his mom’s 13 years as a Clean and Safe Team member, she had encountered aggressive people before, but had never been attacked. He says that this won’t be the first or last time something like this happens to an innocent person, and people should be vigilant of their surroundings.

“My only thing is, I just don’t think anybody should be walking alone, unarmed, through this much area. Especially with this much area. Especially with how much mental illness there is and homelessness in this city. Something like this was bound to happen,” Jerry said.

The St. Louis County Attorney’s Office says that Michael Hanson was also charged with third-degree assault back in April, when another person was hospitalized after encountering him, and was left with a fractured wrist.

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