David Michael Hoft, 34, Pierz, was charged in Morrison County District Court with a felony count of threats of violence, along with gross misdemeanor charges of obstructing the legal process with force and fifth-degree assault.
The charges stem from a June 11 incident when, at about 10:51 p.m., an employee at Tiny’s Tavern in rural Morrison County contacted the Sheriff’s Office to report that there was a patron “causing problems.” According to the complaint, the suspect was identified as Hoft, and it was reported that he was drinking at the bar for “several hours.”
The report states that he began making sexual remarks to the female bartenders throughout the evening, prompting them to eventually cut him off due to his level of intoxication. This made him upset, and he allegedly pushed one of the bartenders and went into a cooler to grab a beer for himself.
According to the complaint, bartenders told Hoft to get out, and he made comments to staff members that he was going to “go home, grab his gun, then come back and shoot up the bar.” He allegedly advised bar staff that they should call the cops and “have them send out their SWAT team.
After Hoft left the bar, the complaint states that it was locked up and the lights were turned out for fear that Hoft might follow through on his threats.
Multiple law enforcement officers responded to the report and discovered that Hoft had left the bar and returned home, located on 285th Avenue. When officers pulled up, they allegedly observed several small children standing in the driveway, who were said to be screaming and crying.
Hoft was reportedly at the residence, and a sergeant from the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office knocked on the door, but he refused to come outside. A trooper from the Minnesota State Patrol and a deputy from the Sheriff’s Office were standing near the front door attempting to assist. According to the report, Hoft’s girlfriend was outside and they heard her stating “no, no, no.”
The report states that officers turned around and observed Hoft approaching them from around the back of the home. He was holding an AR-15 rifle. The report states that his girlfriend stepped in between law enforcement officers and tried to get him to stop.
According to that complaint, officers drew their weapons and told Holt to set down his rifle. He continued to reach back and officers told him to keep his hands off of his weapon. A sergeant eventually approached and pulled the rifle away from Hoft, the report states.
Officers attempted to handcuff Hoft but, according to the report, he struggled with them and fought back. He continued to resist and allegedly kicked at the officers. Once officers got him in cuffs, they discovered that he had a handgun in his waistband. Law enforcement was able to secure the weapon and unload a round from the chamber of the rifle and a magazine with ammunition in it.
According to the report, Hoft refused to walk and had to be carried to the squad car. He was transported to the jail, where he allegedly continued to fight with law enforcement officers and correctional staff.
The felony threats of violence charge carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and/or up to a $10,000 fine. Obstructing the legal process by force is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine; while fifth-degree assault can garner up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.