The man running for the Minnesota House who was arrested over the weekend has now been charged with domestic assault.
David Gerten was charged in Dakota County Tuesday with one count of domestic assault by strangulation, and one count of domestic assault. You can read the charges against him here.
According to the criminal complaint, Gerten was at his Burnsville home with his wife and her son Saturday night, when Gerten asked if there was pizza left.
The charges say the son responded in some way, and Gerten got up, entered the kitchen and grabbed the son. His mother told Gerten not to touch her son, and he shoved her to the ground. Gerten and the son then began to fight.
At one point, according to the charges, Gerten choked the son. The son told police he was lying on the couch and Gerten used one hand to squeeze his neck. It felt like it lasted for about 10 seconds, the son said, and he felt like he was going to black out.
Gerten then let go of the son, and the fight ended, the charges say. Police later met with the mother and son at the hospital.
Another court hearing is set for Dec. 14, with a jury trial set for March 13 of 2017 at 9 a.m., according to a spokesperson with the Dakota County Attorney's Office. Gerten was released by the judge on his own recognizance.
A call Tuesday afternoon to the phone number listed on Gerten's candidate filing went straight to voicemail.
Gerten is running for the Minnesota House seat for District 51A, which covers parts of Eagan and Burnsville. It’s currently held by DFLer Sandra Masin. She won by about 3 percentage points in 2014, and is in her fourth term.
Gerten graduated from Burnsville High School in 1993 and joined the U.S. military, serving in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan during his time with the National Guard, according to his website.
Kurt Daudt, the Republican who serves as House Speaker in Minnesota, said in a brief statement: “Domestic violence is unacceptable to our party and our caucus.”
He also noted no resources from the House Republican Campaign Committee have been used in that district, and none will be used in the future either.
According to the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, at least 10 people in Minnesota had been killed as a result of domestic violence this year. Three more deaths on Friday morning would bring the number to at least 13.
The group’s 2015 Femicide report found 34 people died from domestic violence last year, including 22 women, nine family members/friends, and at least three men.
October marks domestic violence awareness month. There are various events planned around the state to raise awareness and funds for domestic violence victims.
Anyone who thinks they are in an unsafe relationship is encouraged to call 911 or the Domestic Abuse Project at 612-874-7063. For more ways to get help, check out these links gathered by the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women.