Search Continues for Other Alleged Attackers
Police are searching for two men they believe helped Olaf Thomas beat Hinckley driving instructor Dwaine Palmer, 64. Thomas, 21, was charged in Pine County court with four crimes for the beating which occurred on November 29th. Palmer was hospitalized with a broken jaw, nose and eye sockets.
Pine County Chief Deputy Steve Ovick.
The two men at large are identified in the criminal complaint as Aaron and “Smokey.” The complaint states the three men punched and kicked Palmer while he was on a walk with his dog around 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, November 29th.
Police obtained a search warrant for Thomas’ residence and found a pair of shoes with blood on the laces. Police also say the pattern on the sole of the shoe is consistent with the pattern noted on the skin of Palmer’s head.
Thomas was arrested Thursday and is due back in Pine County court on December 18th. Bail is set at $100,000.
Palmer’s wife Barbara says the outpouring of support has been overwhelming.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the two other men are asked to contact the Pine County Sheriffs Office at 320.629.8380.
The assault of Palmer is one of a series of crimes in Hinckley over the past few weeks.
Samuel Joseph Richard St. John, 21, was charged with attempted simple robbery, third degree assault, and fifth degree assault for punching a man outside a Hinckley apartment complex the same morning as the Palmer assault. Police say the two incidents are unrelated.
If convicted of all charges, St. John could serve over 15-years in prison.
Maxine Hansen, 60, of Le Center was charged with second degree criminal sexual assault for a November 20th incident at the Grand Hinckley Inn Hotel.
According to the criminal complaint, several girls were at the hotel hot tub for a birthday party. Two of the girls, ages nine and ten, claim Hansen began getting close and asking them questions. It’s alleged that she then began touching them, and when the girls attempted to push away, she put her hands on their chest and in their swimsuits, touching their inner thighs and private parts.
If convicted, Hansen could spend up to 25-years in prison and pay a $35,000 fine.
Ovick says the recent crimes are alarming: