In the span of two days a woman allegedly drove into a State Patrol squad car and provoked the trooper to shoot her, and a St. Paul police officer was “brutally” attacked by a man wielding a car key.
Andrea E. Perez, 47, also allegedly reached for the trooper’s gun during an incident Tuesday on northbound Interstate 35E at Arlington Avenue in St. Paul, according to charges filed against her Thursday.
“ ‘You’re going to have to shoot me because this isn’t going to end well,’ ” Perez said, according to the charges.
In an unrelated case, 16-year-veteran St. Paul police officer Dominic Dzik was allegedly attacked Wednesday while responding to the 300 block of Cook Avenue E. to take a report of a violation of an order or protection. A male suspect at the scene struck Dzik on the top of the head eight times with a car key, said police spokesman Steve Linders.
“What it shows is even the most mundane, everyday call can turn incredibly dangerous for an officer in an instant,” Linders said. “This is an officer who responded to a call and was brutally assaulted.”
The attack left Dzik covered in blood. He was treated and released from Regions Hospital, where a staple was used to close a wound.
According to St. Paul police: Dzik was talking to the female victim in the case when the female suspect who allegedly violated the order for protection arrived in a van. The suspect was accompanied by a male companion.
Dzik parked behind the van and tried to speak with the female suspect at the front passenger window, but her male companion leaned over from the driver’s side and started “berating” and swearing at the officer, Linders said.
Dzik went to the driver’s side, and the man was standing outside. The officer put his arm out to create distance as the man “advanced,” and his hand made physical contact with the man’s chest. The man repeatedly slapped the officer’s arm away. Dzik told the man he was under arrest.
The man grabbed onto the car door and resisted, and then turned and allegedly struck Dzik on the top of the head eight times. The officer deployed a chemical irritant, and the two ended up on the ground, Linders said.
A backup officer arrived, and the three men continued to struggle. The male suspect was eventually arrested, and allegedly also spat on four officers. He had not been charged as of late Thursday.
Linders said that Dzik did not draw his gun at any point during the encounter.
According to the complaint against Perez: Trooper Zachary Hill was sitting in his squad parked on the shoulder of Interstate 35E about 3:36 p.m. when he was struck from behind by Perez’s vehicle.
Hill checked on Perez, and she allegedly provoked him to shoot her. Audio of the exchange and the ensuing struggle were captured on Hill’s squad camera.
“ ‘This is not going to end well,’ ” Perez allegedly said. “ ‘I’m telling you now. Grab your gun. Grab your gun. I’m telling you now grab it. Grab it.’ ”
Perez allegedly said if Hill didn’t shoot her, she would shoot him. She allegedly reached for his holstered gun as he turned it away from her. Hill tried to “lock out” Perez’s arm, but she twisted out of his grasp. Two men who ran to the trooper’s aid, and the three men gained control of Perez.
One of the men later told an investigator that it appeared as if Perez had deliberately swerved to strike Hill’s squad, and that he also saw her lunge for the officer’s gun.
Perez was taken to United Hospital. She declined to speak with investigators, and remained hospitalized as of Thursday afternoon.
She was charged in Ramsey County District Court with one count each of first-degree assault, second-degree assault and attempting to disarm a police officer.
Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708