A Montana man who allegedly broke a Burnsville man’s leg after being cut off in traffic in Lakeville was arrested in Kentucky after law enforcement searched for him for about two months.

David Gene Beckett, 60, of Corvallis, Montana, was charged by warrant Dec. 21 with third-degree assault in Dakota County District Court.

Mark K. Henderson, who was injured by the motorist, told police that he was confronted by Beckett in the Lakeville Walmart parking lot, according to the complaint. Beckett accused Henderson of cutting him off in traffic, and proceeded to yell obscenities at Henderson.

Henderson told police that he thought he could reason with Beckett, so they went around the building to the back of the Walmart, according to the criminal complaint. Henderson is a U.S. Air Force veteran, worked for Homeland Security at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and U.S. Border Patrol, and was a North Dakota deputy, according to the Star Tribune.

After Henderson said he was punched in the chest, he raised his right leg to keep Beckett at a distance, but Beckett twisted Henderson’s leg and broke his thighbone. Beckett then punched Henderson in the head and fled, according to the complaint.

Henderson spent nine days in the hospital, requiring surgery and physical therapy, according to the complaint. The complaint said Henderson usually requires a walker, crutch or cane in his daily life.

Lakeville Police sought the public’s help in identifying the suspect when it released photos of the man and his vehicle, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, on Nov. 1.

Lakeville Police received a tip from a Lakeville business that the suspect could be Beckett, who was believed to be wearing the same jacket and shoes shown in the photos that he did when he was at the Lakeville business on Oct. 25, 26 and 27. The tipster also said Beckett was driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Police learned that Beckett had a business address in Montana and was staying at a Lakeville hotel from Oct. 25-28.

Cellphone tracking information put Beckett at the Walmart at the time of the assault, according to the complaint.

Beckett left Minnesota and traveled to Kentucky where police discovered he stayed in hotels in Danville and Lexington through Nov. 3. Beckett was arrested near Lancaster – a town of about 3,500 people and 11 miles east of Danville – on Dec. 23, the Associated Press reported.

The maximum sentence for third-degree assault is five years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Tad Johnson can be reached at tad.johnson@apgecm.com.

Tad Johnson is a managing editor of Sun Thisweek and the Dakota County Tribune 

Load comments