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Domestic call ends with felony assault charge

A Hastings Police call on Dec. 23 to a residence on East Seventh Street ended with a fourth-degree assault charge filed against 30-year-old Joseph Steven Emerfoll Jr. A Hastings officer was repeatedly struck on his leg as he tried to get Emerfoll into the back seat of the squad car.

Emerfoll was also charged with obstructing the legal process and domestic assault (gross misdemeanor and misdemeanor respectively).

As of Jan. 4, he remains in the Dakota County Jail. Bail was set at $35,000. He is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 10.

According to the criminal complaint, police were called to the residence on the report of a female crying because a man had assaulted her. When they arrived at the residence, they met Emerfoll, who appeared to be struggling with his balance and slurring his speech. The officer detected a a distinct odor of alcohol on Emorfoll's breath. When asked what was happening, Emerfoll said the woman was "freaking out" at his neighbors. He said they had argued, but denied the argument had become violent.

Another officer spoke with the woman. She said she and Emerfoll had argued. She said he struck her in the face. After she swung back at him, she said he hit her with a closed fist. She then ran to the neighbors.

When told he would be arrested, Emerfoll struggled with the officers and would not place his hands behind his back. Eventually officers were able to get handcuffs on him. As officers attempted to place him in the squad car, Emerfoll resisted and apparently struck the officer. Once inside the squad car, Emerfoll struck his head on the squad cage. He apparently also threatened the officers and swore at them. When he arrived at the Dakota County Jail, Emerfoll apparently began spitting, with the spit getting on an officer's computer.