By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Lester Prairie Mayor Andy Heimerl was charged Sept. 13 with disorderly conduct in connection with an incident that occurred during the city’s Prairie Days celebration in July, according to a formal complaint.
On July 16, Lester Prairie police responded to a report from resident Nathan Unseth.
Unseth told the officer that earlier in the evening, during the parade, Heimerl threw full cans of beer to people in the crowd from a parade float.
Unseth told the officer that this upset him because he felt it was endangering those sitting in the crowd.
According to the complaint, Heimerl heard from his brother, Rick Heimerl, that Unseth was upset with his actions.
Heimerl approached Unseth, and the two began to exchange words.
According to the complaint, Unseth told the officer that Heimerl pointed his finger in Unseth’s face and became belligerent.
According to the report, a bystander eventually had to move Heimerl away from Unseth.
Unseth told the officer that he “felt he was going to be punched by Heimerl due to his agitation and anger,” and added that he was concerned with Heimerl’s behavior.
The officer spoke with four witnesses, all of whom expressed the view that they were “alarmed by Heimerl’s behavior and his actions toward Unseth.”
The witnesses told the officer that Heimerl threw three cans of beer into the crowd and one landed from two to five feet from children who were present.
One witness reported that Heimerl said (to Unseth) “(expletive) you, I can do what I want.”
Another witness told the offer that Heimerl said (to Unseth) “(expletive) you, I can do what I want, I’m the mayor!”
According to the complaint, Rick Heimerl confirmed that Heimerl swore at Unseth.
According to the complaint, the witnesses said Heimerl “appeared intoxicated and belligerent.” One described him as “very aggressive.”
According to the complaint, when interviewed, Heimerl admitted throwing cans of beer to his family, but denied being intoxicated. He said he did approach Unseth to apologize, but became upset when Unseth called him “a drunk.” Heimerl denied using profanity.
The charge of disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
Heimerl’s first court appearance is scheduled Monday, Oct. 3 at 8:30 a.m.