MNGOP leader Kurt Daudt's truck purchase ended with Daudt's gun being pulled on seller [UPDATE]
Daudt: "[A]ccording to all accounts I was trying to diffuse the situation."
-- Update at bottom --
A friend of MNGOP House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt's faces multiple felony charges for pulling Daudt's gun on a Montana man who was selling the representative a used 1966 Ford Bronco.
Daudt himself wasn't charged in connection with the September 7 incident, though the criminal complaint says the representative from Crown was placed "under arrest."
Daudt and his friend traveled from Minnesota to Park County, Montana, in a white Lexus to take possession of the Bronco, according to the complaint. But "at some point during the transaction, [Daudt] confronted [the seller] about the way the vehicle drove."
The seller "advised [Daudt] that the sale was final which subsequently resulted in a verbal altercation," the complaint continues. "The altercation rose to the point where a friend of [Daudt's] retrieved a black handgun and pointed the gun at the entire family, including [the seller's] children. Fearful for the safety of his family, [the seller] accelerated away from the situation in his vehicle, leaving the two males behind."
The seller's wife called 911, and authorities eventually apprehended Daudt and his friend driving east on I-90. His friend was charged with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, and criminal endangerment.
This morning, Daudt's office released the following statement to City Pages, reprinted here in its entirety:
Statement from Rep. Kurt Daudt
"In early September, I traveled to Montana to purchase an antique vehicle which is something I have done before because I collect and restore antique vehicles for a hobby. Unfortunately, the seller did not accurately represent the condition and mileage of the vehicle. A confrontation ensued between my friend who traveled with me to Montana to assist in bringing the truck back to Minnesota and the seller who had misled us.
"While we worked to resolve the situation, the seller became verbally aggressive with both my friend and me and became physically aggressive with my friend. I did everything I could to calm down the seller, diffuse the situation and get my friend and me out of harm's way. However, feeling imminently threatened, my friend retrieved a handgun, without my knowledge, from my vehicle. The gun is licensed to and owned by me. The gun was not discharged during the incident.
"Police were called and my friend was detained and charged by local authorities. As a witness, I provided a statement to local authorities who informed me that at no time was I accused by anyone of any wrongdoing, and that according to all accounts I was trying to diffuse the situation."
The story was broken by KSTP. The version of the criminal complaint published by the station redacts Daudt's friend's name. A call made to Park County, Montana, authorities seeking that information hasn't been returned as this is published.
:::: UPDATE ::::
Daudt's friend has been identified as 24-year-old Cambridge resident Daniel Weinzetl. Public records indicate Weinzetl was convicted in Isanti County of assaulting a police officer, obstructing the legal process, and disorderly conduct back in 2010.
Here's Weinzetl's mugshot from that incident:
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