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Police: Man choked 97-year-old woman at Willmar care facility

He was released without having to post bail on Friday.

A 35-year-old man South Dakota man is facing an assault charge after entering a care facility in Willmar and choking a 97-year-old woman. 

The incident happened last Thursday on the 900 block of Willmar Avenue Southeast, with the Willmar Police Department responding to a 911 caller saying a man was choking a 97-year-old resident. 

An officer arrived at the scene and spotted the suspect walking eastbound on Willmar Avenue. The man refused to listen to the officer's commands and charged towards the officer. 

More officers arrived to the seen and assisted, subduing the suspect with a Taser. The man continued to fight with police and had to be forcibly restrained, Willmar PD says. 

Facility staff members later informed police that the man entered the building through the main doors and attacked a 97-year-old woman in a wheelchair, lifting her out of the chair by her neck and shaking her.

Staff were able to intervene and get him away from the woman, who was transported to a local hospital for an evaluation. She didn't suffer any obvious injuries, police note, although she wasn't able to communicate "due to her medical condition." 

The suspect was taken to the hospital for a mental health/drug evaluation and later booked into Kandiyohi County Jail. 

"Unfortunately, the suspect was released on conditions by the judge on Friday and did not have to post any bail," Willmar Chief of Police Jim Felt said in an email to Bring Me The News.

Initial charges set by the prosecutor are fifth-degree assault and obstructing the legal process. The suspect's next court appearance is in March. 

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