His next appearance on 2nddegree DWI case is Feb. 28
A Crookston man acquitted of manslaughter and assault following a Christmas 2015 altercation with a man who later died from a head injury walked out of Polk County court a free man Tuesday after time served for a disorderly conduct charge.
Brock Dale Strommen, 29, of Crookston shook his head when asked by Ninth District Judge Tamara Yon if he’d like to say anything while seated across the aisle from John Henry Torres’ fiancee Rita Saenz, who was there hoping to seek justice for Torres.
A jury found Strommen not guilty of first-degree manslaughter and fifth-degree assault, but guilty of disorderly conduct during a January 2017 trial for the altercation with Torres that was described as a “push” outside Crooks Club bar Christmas night 2015. Torres was brought to Altru Hospital in Grand Forks the night of the incident after Saenz and their friends found he was injured worse than they originally thought. He was admitted to the hospital and underwent surgery for a fractured skull and internal bleeding. Torres died on New Years Day 2016 and left behind fiancee Saenz and their four children. The Grand Forks County coroner labeled his death as a homicide.
Strommen will appear for pre-trial on Tuesday, February 28 at 9 a.m. for a second-degree DWI charge from July 2016 while he was out on bail from the Christmas 2015 incident. One of the interim conditions he was to abide to was not to consume alcohol or enter any bars.
In early July 2016, a Red Lake County deputy was called to TNJ’s Bar and Grill on a report that Strommen was in the bar “causing problems” and that they wanted him to leave. Red Lake County Sheriff Mitch Bernstein said Strommen was “intoxicated” and “trying to start fights.” Another deputy on the scene recognized that Strommen was in violation of his conditions of release from the Christmas 2015 incident in Crookston and he was arrested. It was reported that Strommen had a blood alcohol level of .278 that night in Red Lake Falls. Red Lake County did not file any charges for the bar incident with Strommen.
Later in July 2016, while out on bail a second time, Strommen was arrested by the Crookston Police Department for second-degree DWI. One of the aggravating factors for the charge was that Strommen had a prior DWI within ten years (2007.) In Minnesota, a second-degree DWI is a gross misdemeanor offense that is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine, plus probation.
Strommen has a prior DWI conviction and disorderly conduct convictions stemming from altercations at Crookston bars I.C. Muggs and the VFW Post 1902 in 2008 and 2012.