Twin Cities police officer, firefighters and EMTs strapped on the gloves and went toe-to-toe in the ring – all to help one of their own.
The charitable event included 19 scheduled bouts, with fighters from numerous agencies – including (but not limited to) the Eden Prairie Fire, Minneapolis, Edina and St. Paul fire departments; Bloomington, Mounds View, Woodbury, Cloquet, Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments; and emergency room workers from Regions Hospital and HCMC.
Proceeds this year are going to Sgt. Dave Mueller of the St. Paul Police Department, a 24-year veteran of law enforcement who suffered a stroke in January, according to Unite and Fight.
Mueller was at work on Jan. 26, when he suddenly felt dizzy and collapsed. His arm, leg and face on the left side became paralyzed, and Mueller was taken to the hospital where he got a procedure to remove the clot in his brain, the group says. Mueller did regain movement on his left side, but the clot did cause some vision damage in his right eye.
The funds from Unite and Fight are going to help pay for medical and rehab costs.
Mueller was involved in martial arts for decades, having trained in hapkido, kickboxing and taekwondo in Bloomington since 1978. He also previously helped coach the St. Paul Police Department in the Unite and Fight event.
He's been married for more than 20 years and has an adult son.
The Pioneer Press spoke with the St. Paul firefighter who created the event, Alex Freese, as well as the man who nominated Mueller as the beneficiary.
Here's some video from Saturday night.
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