Detroit Lakes Police Chief Being Investigated For Assaulting 12-Year-Old Boy

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – An area police chief is being investigated for allegedly assaulting a 12-year-old boy in Detroit Lakes.

According to the Becker County Sheriff’s department, the incident in question happened Wednesday, June 20th at the Washington Park Baseball Fields.

According to several witnesses at the scene, Detroit Lakes Police Chief Steve Todd, who was off duty arrived at the fields on a bicycle and placed the bike on a ramp attached to a set of bleachers. At some point the bike fell over. Witnesses say a 12-year-old boy went to pick the bike up, when Todd came down the bleacher steps and grabbed the child and placed his hands around the boy’s neck.

On Monday, Chief Todd released this statement:

“On Wednesday, June 20th I had gone for a mountain bike ride around Detroit Lakes after work. As I was going by the Washington Ball Park I saw that Hawley was playing Detroit Lakes and I stopped in to watch and visit. I parked my bike at the top of the ramp so that it would be visible to me and I went and talked with a family that I know. Periodically I would look to make sure my bike was still visible. At one point I looked to check on the bike and it was gone. I ran down to try and locate it and found a person with my bike a short distance from where I had parked it. I put my hand on the bike and on the person’s neck. I was informed by a third party that the bike had fallen and the person was picking it up. I verified this with the person and apologized. I rode back to the scene with an officer to explain what occurred to the person’s father and apologized to him as well.”

Todd referred any other questions to Detroit Lakes Mayor Matt Brenk, who said that Todd will not be put on leave during the investigation.
When asked about the incident, Mayor Brenk described the situation as a, “misunderstanding.” When asked to elaborate on that, Brenk stated that he did not want to speculate.