A Minnesota Republican candidate for state legislature is facing felony assault charges after he shoved his wife to the ground and grabbed his stepson by the throat and choked him in an argument about pizza on Saturday.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that Bradly H. Gerten was arrested Saturday and went before a judge on Tuesday, at which time he was charged with “one count of domestic assault of strangulation, which is a felony, and one count of domestic assault, a misdemeanor.”
According to a complaint filed by the Dakota County attorney’s office, Gerten went into this kitchen of his house in Brownsville late Saturday evening and asked his stepson if there was any pizza left. The stepson told Gerten to find his own pizza, at which point Gerten struck the boy.
The boy’s mother tried to intervene, but Gerten reportedly knocked her to the floor and renewed his attack on his stepson, punching him and then gripping him by the throat. The boy told police that the choking went on for several seconds, that he was unable to breathe and felt as if he was losing consciousness.
Police arrived at the home and ended the dispute by arresting Gerten and booking him into Dakota County Jail in the early hours of Sunday morning. At his arraignment, Dakota County District Judge Timothy McManus ordered that Gerten be released on his own recognizance. His next court date is Dec. 14 and his trial is slated to begin in March of next year.
Gerten is a veteran of National Guard operations in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. He works as a probation officer and a youth sports referee and is running to unseat Democratic state legislator Rep. Sandra Masin.
Masin addressed the controversy on Monday, saying that domestic violence is a “very serious issue.”
Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt released a statement that said domestic violence is “unacceptable to our party and our caucus.”