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'Let The Gun Go': Good Samaritan Helps Subdue Man Assaulting Minnesota State Trooper

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A 38-year-old Zimmerman man is accused of assaulting a Minnesota State Patrol trooper after he crashed his vehicle in Brooklyn Center. Authorities say he was arrested with help from a good Samaritan who stopped to assist the trooper

According to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, Matthew Cleve faces fourth-degree assault against a peace officer and disarming a peace officer, which are both felonies, in connection to the Jan. 3 incident.

Matthew Cleve
Matthew Cleve (credit: Hennepin County)


On the evening of the incident, Cleve crashed his car into a retaining wall off of Highway 252 in Brooklyn Center. After crashing, he started walking away from the vehicle down the road -- with the car still in drive and the tires spinning, the complaint said.

A responding Minnesota State Patrol trooper approached Cleve and told him to stop, but Cleve continued to walk. When the trooper attempted to arrest him, Cleve suddenly punched the trooper and pinned the trooper to the ground. During the struggle, Cleve attempted to grab the trooper's gun, according to the complaint.

A bystander in a vehicle named Vincent Williams stopped at the scene and helped the trooper restrain Cleve.

State Trooper Assaulted
(credit: MnDOT)

"I saw a tussle and a fist flying and was like, 'Oh, let me check it out.' As I got closer and approached above him, I saw he had the officer's gun," Williams said. "I said, 'Let the gun go,' and I asked the officer, 'Do you feel comfortable grabbing your Taser?' He said, Hold him.'"

Other officers arrived and Cleve was arrested.

"We pretty much held him until backup arrived," Williams said. "I put my hands up and said, 'I'm helping! I'm helping!'"

The state patrol says it doesn't advise people to get involved, but in this case Williams was able to help troopers resolve the situation safely.

Good Samaritan Vincent Williams
Vincent Williams (credit: CBS)

The trooper had red marks and scrapes to his face and leg from the fight, but is back on patrol. Williams was not hurt.

Cleve allegedly appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance, and a urine sample has been collected. Results are pending.

Authorities say Cleve's license was canceled and he has felony convictions for second-degree assault in Stearns County. If convicted, Cleve could face multiple years in prison.

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