ANOKA, MINNESOTA – A Minneapolis police sergeant accused of punching a man at a bar while off-duty is now facing a more serious charge.
The Anoka County Attorney’s Office charged 47-year-old David Richard Clifford Tuesday with first degree assault for his role in an incident at Tanner’s Station in Andover on June 16.
Authorities say Clifford punched Brian Vander Lee on the patio at Tanner’s Station after Vander Lee was using offensive language while talking on his cell phone.
Clifford was originally charged with third degree assault, but that was upgraded to the more serious first degree assault charge due to the severity of the injuries suffered by Vander Lee.
Since the incident in mid-June, Vander Lee “has undergone two separate surgeries on his head to address bleeding on his brain,” chief deputy County Attorney David Cossi said in a statement.
Clifford’s next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.