Frostbitten and Furious, Man Claims Police Brutality

Updated: 01/29/2014 6:33 PM
Created: 01/29/2014 6:04 PM
By: Brianna Long

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- A Zumbro Falls man says he was thrown into a snowbank by sheriff's deputies, and left there for more than a half-an-hour in freezing temperatures.
That man, 59-year-old Christopher Pettey, is now suffering from frostbite on both of his hands.

However his story is in stark contrast to what deputies filed in their official report.

"If I lose a couple of fingers, I don't know what I'm going to do. It's going to be a devastating to me," said Pettey.

On January 20th, Wabasha County deputies were doing a welfare check on Christopher Petty because he had been involved in a domestic dispute in another county.

That's the only part of this story Christopher, and deputies agree on.

"They left me laying there in a snow bank for approximately 1/2 hour to 45 minutes, and I got 2nd and 3rd degree frostbite on my hands," said Pettey.

Christopher says Wabasha County Sheriff's deputies came into his home, tazed him, handcuffed him, and left him outside. The sheriff declined an interview, but did send us a copy of their report. In it, deputies say Christopher was intoxicated, and was already bloody and scratched when deputies got to his house.

Deputies say they saw him walking through the woods without the proper outdoor clothing on, and that's where the frostbite may have come from.

Deputies say while indoors, they used the tazer to get Christopher into handcuffs, while he was extremely uncooperative, and cursing out anyone in earshot.

Ultimately, Christopher was taken to Mayo Clinic Hospital, where he was treated for frostbite, and then he was taken to detox.

Now, Christopher says he has a lawyer, and is considering legal action against the sheriff's office for what he calls police brutality.

"I'm gonna have a lot of medical bills and this is wrong. What they did to me was wrong."
After the incident, Christopher is facing charges of disorderly conduct, fleeing on foot, obstructing with force, and obstructing.

Our calls to the county attorney have not been returned.