Lester Duane Tienter, 42, Hillman, was charged in Morrison County District Court with one felony count of first degree damage to property, one felony county of second degree assault with a dangerous weapon and one gross misdemeanor count of reckless driving.

According to the criminal complaint, at approximately 3:45 a.m. Sept. 29, law enforcement was contacted by a driver who stated he was en route to work, driving on 370th Avenue in Leigh Township, when a driver tried to run him off the road.

The suspect, later identified as Tienter, was driving a white Chevrolet pickup truck. As the victim was headed south of 370th Avenue, Tienter pulled out of a residence ahead of the victim, who passed the white truck and continued on his way. The truck allegedly pulled up beside the victim’s vehicle on the driver’s side and tried to run it off of the road.

The victim told law enforcement that he drove on the shoulder of the road to avoid a collision. Later, the white truck was in front of the victim’s vehicle when Tienter “slammed on his brakes,” according to the complaint. As he did that, the victim passed his truck to, again, avoid a collision.

The report states the victim then drove fast to get away from the pickup truck. However, when the victim slowed down as he approached the intersection with 153rd Street, Tienter was said to have come up from behind and rammed the victim’s truck, pushing it through the intersection.

The victim told law enforcement that Tienter’s truck connected with the hitch on the back of his truck, and he could tell the white pickup was “severely damaged (and) leaking fluids on the highway,” according to the complaint. The report states Tienter then fled the scene, and officers were initially unable to locate him.

The officers noted that the victim did have damage to the rear bumper and hitch on his truck.

Later that morning, a deputy with the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office drove past Tienter’s residence and reported finding “scuff marks on the roadway and tracks in the ditch off 370th Avenue that led up to Tienter’s property.” After obtaining a search warrant, the deputy found a white, 2001 Chevrolet pickup with heavy front-end damage, which matched the victim’s description of the truck, according to the complaint.

The report states the pickup was found hidden behind buildings in a wooded area, out of sight of the roadway. Inside the pickup was mail with Tienter’s name and address. He was found later that morning on Highway 10 trying to stop other vehicles to “hitch a ride.”

If convicted, Tienter faces a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000 for the damage to property charge. The assault charge carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and/or up to $14,000 in fines, while the gross misdemeanor is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of $1,000.

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