Robert P. Braun, 30, Saint Paul, pleaded guilty on Monday, Sept. 18 in Washington County Circuit Court to one count of aiding and abetting second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and was …
Robert P. Braun, 30, Saint Paul, pleaded guilty on Monday, Sept. 18 in Washington County Circuit Court to one count of aiding and abetting second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and was sentenced to five years in prison. According to Washington County Attorney Kevin Magnuson, Braun attempted to drive a vehicle from the passenger seat while an Oakdale police officer was actively attempting entry of the driver’s side door of the car after a reported theft.
According to the criminal complaint, on June 21, 2022, Oakdale police officers were called to LA Fitness health club on a report of stolen goods. Officers were advised that LA Fitness staff had confronted a female suspect, later identified as Samantha Rae Jasper, regarding a stolen duffel bag. When officers arrived, they saw Jasper leave the health club and begin walking along the sidewalk. As an officer exited his squad car to confront the suspect, Jasper fled on foot toward a parked Honda CR-V. She entered the driver’s seat of the Honda with a male, later identified as Braun, sitting in the passenger seat.
As one officer positioned their squad car behind the Honda CR-V to block it in, another officer attempted to remove Jasper from the driver’s seat. She refused to comply and instead shifted the vehicle into gear. With the vehicle continuing to move with the officer still in the door frame, the officer deployed a taser on Jasper, but with limited effect. During the struggle, Braun reached across the console to keep the gear shift in drive and used his hand to depress the gas pedal. The officer managed to retreat behind an adjacent parked vehicle and narrowly avoided being struck by the Honda as it rammed the squad car and hit adjacent parked cars and a fence.
Braun exited the vehicle and ran from the scene while Jasper fled in the Honda. Both Braun and Jasper were later apprehended in Anoka County on unrelated charges.
Braun was sentenced to 63 months in prison and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,929.50. Jasper is expected to face multiple charges from the incident in court next month, including first-degree and second-degree assault, first-degree criminal damage to property, fleeing police in a motor vehicle, and theft.