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Minn. roundup: Young black bear charges man, dog in Bayport; Burnsville sergeant cleared in fatal police shooting

Young black bear charges man, dog in Bayport

BAYPORT, Minn.—A young black bear spotted wandering around Bayport in far eastern Minnesota along the St. Croix River charged at a man and his dog getting within about 15 yards before they escaped.

Bayport police say the bear was spotted several times Tuesday morning in and around the river.

Residents of Stillwater and Stillwater Township have also reported seeing bears in their yards, said Harland Hiemstra, a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Black bears are not known to be aggressive, and it is likely the bears eventually will leave for a more rural area, Hiemstra said.

"It is not uncommon for there to be bear sightings in late spring and early summer," Hiemstra said. "They are often adolescents, and just like any kind of adolescents, they are figuring things out, and so they're hanging out where they shouldn't be hanging out. It's best if people give them space and leave them alone, and then they generally will find their way back to a more appropriate setting."


Burnsville sergeant cleared in fatal police shooting

BURNSVILLE, Minn.—A Burnsville police sergeant who fatally shot a suicidal man last year was justified in using deadly force, Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom has concluded.

On Sept. 26, Sgt. Steven Stoler fired seven rounds at 48-year-old Jaime Joseph Lewis — hitting him three times — near the Dahcotah View Apartments at 1605 E. Cliff Road. A loaded .45-caliber handgun was found next to his body.

According to documents released by the county attorney's office Wednesday, Lewis "appeared to be raising the gun to his head" before sitting up and pointing it toward Stoler and Officer Brett Levin.

The investigation was led by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

The use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer is justified to protect the officer or another person from death or great bodily harm, Backstrom said in a statement.