Pine City Man Charged with Two Counts of Assault

Monday, January 4th, 2010 at 10:03 am

JustinSweeneyA day after Christmas, a Pine City man was involved in a fight that left him behind bars and another man in the hospital.

Justin Sweeney, 25, was arrested and charged with two counts of assault for the December 26th fight.

According to the criminal complaint, Sweeney got into a verbal altercation with Michael Cummings.  Sweeney told police Cummings was making jokes about “hooking up with” a girl Sweeney broke up with.

When Cummings didn’t stop, Sweeney hit him in the head and face, according to the complaint.

Cummings was then transferred to the Kanabec Hospital in Mora and later referred to the St. Cloud Hospital due to separation of his lips from the gum area of his mouth.

Sweeney is charged with one count of third and fifth degree assault.  If convicted of both charges, he could spend over five years behind bars and pay $11,000 in fine.


  1. PC Resident 01/4/10 at 11:36am

    No weapons were used, no serious injuries were sustained. Story has been blown up and should never be a headline. Justin is innocent and I think Michael head butted his fist and should have to pay for the injuries to Justins hand.

  2. PC Resident 01/4/10 at 11:39am

    What a monster!! He hit him in the face over an argument?? This kind of thing NEVER HAPPENS!! Especially over a girl…Stick to the stories of the REAL criminals that beat a helpless old man in hinckley, or use weapons to hurt someone.

  3. ralph 01/4/10 at 1:40pm

    Justin is a loving person he loves animals and people he just needs a big hug.

  4. mom 01/4/10 at 3:51pm

    If you seen Michael you would never know he was in a fight.

  5. simon 01/4/10 at 6:32pm

    I think its funny something so minor makes headlines,you should know better to mess with a sweeney.seiously pine county should bust some of these druggies instead there there going out after stuff like this it was a fight drop it.I could maybe see if the kid needed medical attention but stitches.Really?

  6. Billy 01/4/10 at 6:43pm

    This whole story is wrong and a big joke. Get your story straight before you make someone look bad. He’s fine and Sweeney feels terrible and wants to say sorry but he can’t cause they won’t let him. lol Sweeneys a great guy!!!

  7. Sandra 01/5/10 at 7:43am

    Haha talk to the booty cause the hands off duty cause this is a joke!!! Sweeney’s innocent it was a love tap taken the wrong way!!!

  8. PC MOM 01/5/10 at 9:32am

    I agree with PC RESIDENT. Go after the real criminals who beat the Hinckley man… this was a fist fight that happens all the time over a girl. Silly… but not worthy of the headlines!

  9. hockeymom 01/5/10 at 1:33pm

    People need to get all the facts before they pass judgement…must have been a slow news week for this to be a headline…there have been a lot more “assaults” worse then this that never made the paper or resulted in charges…oh and when you are in an argument with someone who tells you to stop, you really should stop or accept the consequenses of your decision..

  10. PC Res 01/5/10 at 2:33pm

    I heard that he was wearing the wrong colors and thats why Justin beat him up.

  11. Bob 01/5/10 at 6:30pm

    Who ever wrote this story wasted their time. It was not that big of a deal people just need to learn to keep their mouths shut. Maybe now people wont run their mouths before thinking about the consequences. Like everyone is saying it was just a stupid fight charges should have never been pressed if Sweeney wanted to hurt him bad he would have but he stopped he just wanted to prove a point and i think his point was made.

  12. Neutral Resident 01/6/10 at 8:37am

    I’m saddened by the previous comments. Sweeney should have had enough self-control to just walk away and not let Michael get the best of him. Violence is not acceptable. Just because more serious crime happens doesn’t mean assaults shouldn’t be prosecuted. People need to be held accountable for their actions and be kinder to each other.

  13. The Catapillar 01/6/10 at 9:04am

    The mouse is quick..but the owl hunts at night.

  14. fan 01/6/10 at 10:43am

    I once witnessed Sweeney breath life back into a frozen baby kitten and nurture it back to health using his own jacket despite the cold just to keep that kitten warm, people like him are super heroes and super heroes do no belong in jail…..ever!

  15. Small town 01/6/10 at 11:45am

    There have been many stories of assaults/fights as headlines before, it is a small town. I think that people need to grow up and deal with the consequences of their actions. Maybe he should have thought before he decided to get into a fight.

  16. Friend of the Sweeney Family 01/6/10 at 6:50pm

    Shame on you WCMP- you really should get the fact’s straight before you report a story. Honestly the guy that killed the parents on Hwy 70 is bigger news than a simple fist fight. You also did not report that Sweeney and Cummings are very good friends. Imagine what you are putting the Sweeney and Cumming family through. Again shame on you for reporting false information.

  17. Concerned Pine County Resident 01/7/10 at 12:58am

    I Agree with the Friend of the Sweeney Family. SHAME ON YOU WCMP. You need to become more professional. This is not the only story that has been blown up with incorrect facts by WCMP. I have seen a few others with bad errors that resulted in great pain for the individual/family that was targeted. Its just wrong. We need to remember that Pine County IS IN America and so we too are privelged to some decency and we should always be treated as innocent until proven guilty. Innocent until proven guilty! I remember WCMP as being a professional local media source. It seems to have taken a great backwards step recently. Whats up? Is there new management? New reporter? I’d say…Get the story straight first and don’t try to make things worse than they are. And I think we all need to remember, citizens and media. … “Just because the police said it is, doesn’t mean it is” That is why we have courts to sort out the complexities of these cases.

  18. Earl. 01/7/10 at 1:00am

    Small town

  19. neutral res 01/7/10 at 1:04am

    neural res

  20. neutral res 01/7/10 at 1:21am

    neutral doesn’t sound to neutral taken sides he’s my friend and this is out of control. So go fys micheal and sweeney snowboard together and cant end the night without a smile cause they rock!!! SmallTown gfys cause u have know idea whats going on so peace tfo!!!!

  21. Small town 01/7/10 at 7:41am

    Neutral Res – I DO know what is going on. I know the family well, so I know the details. Everyone has an opinion and mine is I feel they need to GROW UP and FACE THE CONSEQUENCES. P.S. I love the abbreviations used, you sound so classy.

  22. Neutral Res 01/7/10 at 9:46am

    Small town – You are a douche.

  23. Small town 01/7/10 at 11:44am

    Neutral Res – Well you seem to have your own opinion too I see, and again its classy. Which you are titled to your own opinion, but in your first post you told me I have no idea what’s going on, Well you have no idea what I am like to call me a name like that.

  24. Neutral Res 01/7/10 at 4:03pm


  25. Sandra 01/8/10 at 10:52am

    Let’s play nice now. Jerkfaces this is so funny its gone this far haha well I hope everyone has a wonderful day.

  26. chad and toby 01/8/10 at 12:38pm

    Maybe Michael should learn how to fight or shut his mouth… WCMP is a joke

  27. concerned citizen 01/8/10 at 3:54pm

    WOW! This story should never have been printed, but sounds to me like Justin needs some anger management classes or needs to watch the alcohol. It doesn’t make sense to me that one friend would hit another friend for any reason, especially a girl that he doesn’t even date!

  28. simon 01/8/10 at 6:19pm

    Well as a close friend to justin I just want to say that yes maybe things could have been handled differently, however, growing up listening to stories from my dad, uncles, and even my grandfather boys will be boys. They duke it out so what a couple battle scars insurance will cover, it makes for a good line to tell the next girl they meet. I feel WCMP blew this way out of proportion and so have other people. People in this town have way to much time on their hands. And i would imagine that the ones casting the first stone is a perfect person. So who are we to judge!!! HONESTLY!!

  29. simon 01/8/10 at 6:21pm

    And Small Town that is “CLASSY”

  30. jer bear 01/9/10 at 12:22am

    If anybody actually buys into this false lame story i feel sorry for them. Sweeney is a really good guy with a heart of gold, a real man’s man! Find a real story to talk about and leave the poor kid alone!

  31. kathy 01/11/10 at 12:39pm

    I DON’T think that WCMP blew this story out of proportion at all, I think it is all these people that are writing comments about how no one should be punished for there own actions. WCMP is just reporting the news like they are supposed to for a small town and in a town this size, this is news.

  32. Horsey 01/13/10 at 9:26am

    The punch heard ’round the world…

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