ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- A Rochester man who was tased while in police custody early Sunday morning is now claiming an officer assaulted him in the back seat of a squad car, while he was in handcuffs.
Ramon Ruiz, 33, has a lengthy court record including numerous driving violations, a drug conviction and felony theft and receiving stolen property cases in a half dozen counties in Minnesota. Now he is vigorously disputing the events of late Saturday night into early Sunday morning that ended with him being tased by an officer.
Reporters were told at a police briefing on Monday that Ruiz was facing as many as ten assault-related charges after he allegedly kicked a woman in the parking lot outside Wild Bills Sports Saloon. Ruiz says those have been reduced to three charges.
Police say Ruiz allegedly kicked a woman who was fighting with another woman and then fled. But his account is hugely different.
"I was protecting people, asking the aggressor to back off and not to fight. He assaulted me multiple times and began to choke me. At that time, the altercation began, and after the altercation ceased, I was informed by the bar manager to leave the property," said Ruiz.
Police say they found Ruiz at about 2:15 a.m. After being brought into custody, police say Ruiz kicked a detention deputy in the stomach and tried to bite another officer in the arm. But Ruiz claims he was attacked by an officer.
"He assaulted me in the back of a squad car while I was in handcuffs," said Ruiz.
Police contend Ruiz also kicked and tried to bite law enforcement officers at Saint Marys Hospital where he was getting treatment for what police called a self-inflicted lip injury. And that's when he was tased, treated and placed back into custody.
Police Lt. Mike Sadauskis told FOX 47's Peter Schuneman on Monday that Ruiz said something about "bad crack" during questioning. Ruiz claims that's not true, was never questioned by police, has a degree in criminal justice, and knows not to say anything to police while in custody.
Ruiz says he posted bail of $25,000 under certain conditions, and has been released, and that he now faces two misdemeanor assault charges and a third charge of violating a "no contact" order.
But a check of state court records shows that just this week, Ruiz pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors of speeding and driving without a valid driver's license. For those convictions, he's been sentenced to pay a fine of $200 or serve 20 hours of community work service over the next 120 days. Ruiz is on unsupervised probation for a year and was ordered not to drive without a license or have similar driving violations.
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