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Castle Rock man found not guilty of chasing firefighters with front-end loader

A 46-year-old Castle Rock man who was charged with using a front-end loader to charge at police and firefighters last January has been acquitted of all charges.

Brady John Gunhus was arrested by Dakota County sheriff's deputies for denying firefighters access to a fire on his property. He was charged with a gross misdemeanor for obstructing firefighting. According to the complaint filed last winter, when the Farmington Fire Department arrived at the scene of a fire on Gunhus's property, he drove his front-end loader around the property and prohibited firefighters from accessing the fire.

In a statement in January, Dakota County Sheriff Dave Bellows said Farmington officers who responded to the scene also felt threatened. Gunhus was arrested when he drove the front-end loader to his house, then ran inside.

On Oct. 5, though, a Dakota County jury found Gunhus not guilty. According to his attorney, Sam McCloud, the jury returned with its verdict after only 15 minutes of deliberation.

"They had no business arresting him in the first place, and the jury saw that," McCloud said this week. "It was all much ado about nothing."

McCloud said Gunhus was trying to abide by the officers' orders at the scene. He said Gunhus was told to "get it out of there," which he was attempting to do when he was driving the front-end loader around the yard. In response to allegations that Gunhus was trying to flee officers by running inside the house, McCloud said his client had simply gone inside to call his mother to let her know what was going on.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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