Charges: Tomah man pointed gun in officer's face in St. Paul inc - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Charges: Tomah man pointed gun in officer's face in St. Paul incident

Posted: Updated:
Officer Michael Tschida reaching for his weapon moments after slapping the gun away from his face. Officer Michael Tschida reaching for his weapon moments after slapping the gun away from his face.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - -

Prosecutors say a Tomah man pointed a weapon inches from a police officer's face in St. Paul last weekend.

Thirty-four-year-old James Frei of Tomah, Wisconsin, was charged Tuesday with possession of a firearm, second-degree assault and fleeing a police officer.


READ-James Frei criminal complaint


Police say Officer Michael Tschida was working off-duty at a Walmart Sunday and confronted Frei after suspecting he was shoplifting.

Security camera pictures show Frei pointing a gun in Tschida's face.

According to the complaint, Tschida slapped the gun away and drew his own weapon. Frei ran to a pickup and pointed a gun at Tschida a second time.

Police say Tschida fired several rounds at the pickup as it left the parking lot by driving over shrubs and a curb. No one was hurt.

During the chase of the pickup, the criminal complaint said he saw Frei pointing the gun at squad cars. Frei crashed into a parked SUV after a brief chase. He tried to flee on foot, but was eventually taken into custody by officers. A 9mm handgun was recovered from the pickup.

According to the criminal complaint, Frei had an arrest warrant dating from June 17 from La Crosse County for failing to appear on a motor vehicle theft charge.

The complaint said he has prior convictions in Wisconsin for burglary and escape. In Oklahoma, the complaint said he had convictions for robbery with firearms, battery, and escape.

As a convicted felon, the firearms possession charge has a maximum sentence of 15 years, while the assault charge carries a seven year maximum sentence.

He's due back in court July 20.

Powered by Frankly