Flirtatious joke allegedly culminated in personal injury attorney stabbing man at W Hotel
Personal injury attorney Michael Riehm (right) allegedly stabbed a man in the Foshay Tower (aka W Minneapolis).
Twin Cities-based personal injury Michael Riehm faces a felony assault charge for allegedly stabbing a man with a steak knife at the W Hotel in downtown Minneapolis around bar close time on New Year's Day.
The stabbing allegedly occurred following a dispute involving Riehm and his wife on one hand and the victim and his girlfriend on the other that escalated from flirtatious joking to a lung deflated by a puncture wound.
Authorities say it began when Heather Griego, identified in the criminal complaint as Riehm's wife, complimented the appearance of the victim's girlfriend at a hotel bar (the criminal complaint doesn't specify whether the mayhem went down in the Living Room or Prohibition). In response, the victim told Griego "his girlfriend was already taken."
"This comment upset Griego and her husband," the complaint says. "The victim reported a shoving match ensued between himself and [Riehm] but the altercation was broken up by bar security."
That was far from the end of the confrontation, however.
"The victim reported that some time later Griego approached him and attempted to kick him in the groin," the complaint continues. "The victim and Griego got into a physical altercation and defendant attempted to intervene on behalf of his wife."
Though that melee was also broken up by security, as the victim prepared exited the bar and entered the hotel lobby, Riehm allegedly approached him and "thrust at his rib cage."
(For more, click to page two.)
"The victim reported he immediately realized he had been stabbed" by Riehm, the complaint says. He was transported to HCMC and treated for a deflated lung.
A waitress at the bar later told authorities she saw Riehm go behind a serving counter and grab a steak knife. When she confronted him, he said, "Nobody hits my wife in the face" and walked off. The waitress said Riehm then entered the lobby and stabbed the victim before dropping the knife and leaving with Griego. Later, Griego returned to the scene and tried "to forcefully take the knife from the officers who were processing the criminal scene," the waitress said.
An official with the Hennepin County Attorney's office told City Pages that for her part in the ruckus, Griego ended up being charged with a misdemeanor count of obstructing the legal process.
Riehm's LinkedIn profile says his MJR Law "practice areas" include "slip and fall, product liability, legal malpractice, medical malpractice, professional negligence, and injuries resulting from dog bites." In 2012, he was sued for upwards of $150,000 by TSR Law for allegedly using underhanded tactics to poach personal-injury cases.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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