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Man featured in ACLU dashcam video pleads guilty

WORTHINGTON — Anthony Promvongsa, 22, pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of fifth-degree assault and one count of driving after revocation. The Worthington resident came into the spotlight in June, when the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a dashcam video that depicts off-duty Buffalo Ridge Task Force Agent Joe Joswiak violently punching and kneeing Promvongsa after pulling him over.

The incident in question occurred on July 28, 2016. A police report states that Promvongsa approached an officer’s vehicle at high speed, and came to within one to three feet of his bumper. He continued to drive recklessly around the officer’s vehicle, tailgating and swerving in close proximity.

The officer, working off-duty, pulled over and parked his vehicle, where he was greeted by another off-duty officer. Promvongsa pulled up to the two, and allegedly told them to “stay there, as he was going to go get his boys and come back to get them,” before speeding away.

The off-duty officer, knowing Promvongsa’s driving privileges had been revoked since March 2014, called dispatch to report him.

Joswiak began searching for Promvongsa, when Promvongsa allegedly swerved his Honda Pilot towards him. Joswiak reported having to quickly pull toward the curb to avoid a crash.

At this point, Sergeant Tim Gaul assisted in pursuit of Promvongsa, and the two pulled him over. The police report states Joswiak gave Promvongsa orders to get out of the vehicle, but Promvongsa did not comply.

The report states Joswiak delivered several knee strikes and a straight punch to Promvongsa, and was eventually able to get him out of the vehicle — though it does not note the four punches Joswiak handed out after Promvongsa was on his feet, outside of the car.

In the ACLU’s June release, Promvongsa is quoted as saying, “I had no idea what was going on when I was approached and attacked by this officer.” With his guilty plea, Promvongsa admitted he attempted to cause fear or harm the two off-duty officers.

In the guilty plea, a small marijuana possession charge and felony charge of fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle were dismissed. Promvongsa was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 30 days of community service. He will also be required to attend anger management classes, and pay a $1,000 fine.

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