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Samuel Ronneberg charged with punching Edina cop till she passed out

Samuel Ronneberg of Lakeville is accused of beating a cop after he was pinched for drunk driving.

Samuel Ronneberg of Lakeville is accused of beating a cop after he was pinched for drunk driving.

Samuel Ronneberg, 25, was driving in Edina late in the night of June 19 when a cop pulled him over. Like a lot of police officers who patrol the suburbs, she was working alone. The officer noticed that his car was rank with the smell of alcohol, according to the criminal complaint.

Ronneberg failed field sobriety tests. An initial breathalyzer showed he had a blood alcohol content of 0.15. He was arrested.

On the way to lockup, Ronneberg started complaining that he needed to throw up, so the officer opened the door for him. It turned out he’d worked one of his hands free of his handcuffs. According to the complaint, Ronneberg grabbed the officer by the hair, punched her repeatedly in the face, and beat her with the handcuffs.

Video of the assault captured the officer passing out momentarily as Ronneberg ran off, says Edina Police Sgt. Kevin Rofidal.

Luckily, she quickly came to and radioed for help, bringing officers from eight departments to the area. Ronneberg was found hiding in an empty parking ramp blocks away.

“The attacks are just getting to be much more violent,” Rofidal says. “Sometimes you’ll have somebody who struggles to get away, but very seldom do you have this kind of blunt attack where they try to jump someone.”

The last time an Edina officer was assaulted, it was a male cop who’d been pinned to the ground, fighting for his life, as a suspect tried to take his gun in broad daylight. Mechanics from a nearby auto shop ran out to help. Folks eating at a restaurant called 911.

The cop who initially detained Ronneberg sustained a black eye and needed staples and stitches in her head and ear. She hasn’t returned to work.

Ronneberg has been charged with two counts of assault on top of driving while impaired. He has a previous DWI conviction from 2014.