Judge orders woman to write apology letter for assaulting a police officer

Kelly Ann McCann, convicted of fourth-degree assault, also sentenced to community service and probation for concussing a police officer

By Nick Ferraro
Pioneer Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. — An Edina woman was sentenced Wednesday to 40 hours of community service and three years of probation for assaulting a St. Paul police officer during her arrest in June.

Ramsey County District Judge Richard Kyle also ordered Kelly Ann McCann, 32, to write an apology letter to officer Steven Mattson, who suffered a concussion from a headbutt she landed below his eye during a domestic disturbance call at an East Side apartment.

McCann pleaded guilty Oct. 31 to felony fourth-degree assault on a police officer after reaching an agreement with prosecutors that included dismissing a misdemeanor domestic assault charge. McCann entered a Norgaard plea, stating that she could not remember the circumstances of the assault but that she reasonably believed the prosecution had sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction.

Mattson told the court in a victim impact statement read by Assistant Ramsey County Attorney Cory Tennison that McCann’s blow to his right cheekbone caused immediate “intense pain” and black and blurry vision. In the days that followed, he experienced headaches and fatigue and was diagnosed with a concussion, the third of his lifetime.

He missed three weeks of work because headlights and squad car lights brought about headaches. Now, bright lights — even those from his TV and cell phone — can trigger headaches, the nine-year officer said in his statement.

‘Out of control’

Around 2:30 a.m. June 18, Mattson and another officer responded to the apartment in the 200 block of Ruth Street and were met by a 24-year-old woman who said McCann, her girlfriend of over a year, had assaulted her.

She reported that McCann punched her in the face multiple times and slammed her head against the wall, according to the criminal complaint. Officers photographed her injuries, which included a cut lip.

In his Wednesday court statement, Mattson said that while they spoke with the woman, her two young children were “terrified, visibly shaking and crying. I did my best to reassure them that they were going to be OK. But they were still upset.”

McCann, who was in a separate room, became aggressive with a third officer, and took a fighting stance. She threw a dresser drawer at the officer, the charges said.

“It was very clear that McCann was out of control and needed to be placed into handcuffs for everyone’s safety,” Mattson’s statement read.

Once McCann was detained, the woman told Mattson she and McCann had been drinking and that McCann became irate after seeing old messages between the woman and her children’s father.

When officers put McCann on her feet to take her from the apartment, she bit Mattson’s arm and headbutted him in the face, leaving a large purple welt under his eye, the charges said.

“I saw her purposefully tilt her head, neck and upper body backwards then immediately launch all of it forward to gain as much momentum as possible before using all of it to strike me on the cheekbone,” Mattson’s statement read.

McCann continued to kick and scream as she was placed in the squad car, the charges said.

Officer suggested community service

McCann fought back tears during much of Mattson’s victim impact statement. Her attorney, Pete Dahlquist, told Kyle that she is remorseful and that her behavior was the result of “significant trauma that she suffered in her past” and of alcohol use.

“I think you can clearly see from Ms. McCann that she is moved by this letter,” Dahlquist said.

McCann has seen a general therapist and a chemical dependency therapist, and is now sober, her attorney said.

At the time of the assault, McCann was on supervised probation after being convicted in Hennepin County in September 2019 of first‐degree possession of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. A judge stayed a five-year prison sentence in favor of 180 days in the workhouse and probation until 2024. She is scheduled to go before a judge on Tuesday for the probation violation.

When Kyle gave McCann a chance to address the court Wednesday, she said she hopes “for the best for the officer moving forward and also for myself, so nothing like this happens again.”

Before Kyle issued McCann’s sentence, Mattson had asked the judge to not give her jail time and instead order her to do community service, perhaps with a domestic violence advocacy group. Prosecutor Tennison told Kyle he’d be inclined to ask for jail time, but wanted to respect the officer’s request of the judge.

Kyle followed the plea agreement, staying a 13-month prison sentence in favor of the three years of probation. He then added the 40 hours of community service and his order for her to write Mattson an apology letter.

“We hardly ever have that order these days,” the judge said, “but I think in this case, it might be appropriate.”

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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