Otter Tail County has been named in a $2 million civil rights lawsuit brought on behalf of Kameron Erik Boudin, 30, of Parkers Prairie.
The excessive force lawsuit names a former Otter Tail County deputy, Jeremias “J.J.” Krupich, and the county as defendants in a Dec. 13, 2018 incident in Parkers Prairie.
The county is charged with failing Krupich in the constitutionally proper use of force.
In a press release issued by Otter Tail County administrator, Nicole Hanson Tuesday public information officer, Shannon Terry said: “Due to pending litigation we cannot comment at this time.”
Among the allegations made in a 23-page suit filed in Minneapolis federal court Monday, Boudin states that Krupich along with five other law enforcement officers, one of which was wearing a body camera entered Boudin’s residence at 323 S. Douglas Ave.
Boudin also alleged that before Krupich and the other officers started for his residence Krupich made the remark to them that “Runnings going to get you beat,” and “if you’re yanking away I’m going to beat you.”
These remarks were picked up by the body camera.
When Boudin was located under a bed he was brought out and Krupich straddled him, pinning his back to the floor. He then ordered Boudin to roll over onto his stomach. When Boudin replied “I can’t, when you’re holding me down” there were two loud noises and over a period of about six seconds Krupich punched Boudin a number of times in the face and forehead.
At least one of the blows was caught by the body camera.
Boudin was later transported to Lake Region Healthcare in Fergus Falls. A facial trauma surgeon at Sanford Medical in Fargo was consulted and he recommended transport to Sanford.
He was admitted to Sanford on Dec. 14, 2018, and his primary diagnosis was assault and comminuted and depressed frontal bone fractures involving the orbital roof on each side. Boudin underwent surgery with Dr. Jimmy Chim Dec. 16 and as a result 27 screws and seven plates were placed in Boudin’s head.
The civil suit alleges that Boudin remains limited in what he can physically and mentally handle due to his injuries.
“It was obvious this was a case that had merit,” said Boudin’s attorney, Bob Bennett of the Robins/Kaplan Law Firm of Minneapolis.
A letter to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on Dec. 21, 2018, requested the BCA’s assistance in investigating the Dec. 13 actions of Krupich. It is alleged that as a result of an endorsement of Krupich’s professional actions the BCA’s investigation did not find Krupich guilty of misconduct.
Krupich has since resigned his position as a deputy sheriff. Otter Tail County Sheriff Brian Schuelter, who headed the law enforcement agency at the time of the incident, has retired. The office is currently held by Barry Fitzgibbons, who served as Schuelter’s chief deputy before being elected sheriff in November 2018.
According to court administration records held in the Otter Tail County Courthouse, during the Dec. 13, 2018, incident in Parkers Prairie, Boudin broke away from a Parkers Prairie police officer and fled after being involved in an assault at the Dog House Bar and Grill in Parkers Prairie. He ran home and was found there by law enforcement officers.
After Boudin was taken into custody, officers returned to the bar to determine what had occurred. The bar owner said Boudin had been in the bar for most of the evening and had drank quite a bit. He had been asked to leave after becoming verbally abusive. At that point, he was escorted out of the bar.
Statements were taken from four different people about what had occurred and what occurred after Boudin was removed from the bar. Angry that Boudin had allegedly attacked two females outside the bar, one male had engaged in a physical altercation with Boudin until another male entered the fight and helped restrain Boudin.
Boudin was arraigned Tuesday in Otter Tail County Court on four misdemeanors - two fifth-degree assault charges, one disorderly conduct charge and one charge of fleeing a police officer. The charges were brought against him Nov. 16, 2019.
In the civil suit, Boudin is identified as a disabled Marine combat veteran who served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Court records show that Boudin has faced a variety of charges in Isanti, Chisago, Pope and Douglas counties since 2007 but Bennett stood by his client Tuesday in an interview with The Daily Journal.
“His constitutional rights are as important as yours, mine or anyone else’s,” Bennett said.