Authorities apprehend man suspected of unprovoked assault, vehicle theft

Authorities apprehend man suspected of unprovoked assault, vehicle theft

NEW ULM, Minn. (KEYC) — Authorities report a man suspected of hitting a driver in the face while at a McDonald’s drive-thru is in custody.

The New Ulm Police Department reported Wednesday that Matthew Dennis Smith, of St. Paul, reportedly walked up to a driver’s vehicle at approximately 9 p.m. Tuesday and punched the driver in the face, unprovoked. Smith then reportedly left the scene on foot.

Authorities add that at approximately 9:14 a.m. Tuesday, the New Ulm Police Department received another call for service at Kwik Trip regarding a white SUV that had been stolen. The vehicle, believed to be a retired law enforcement vehicle, also contained a handgun that stored in the glove compartment, according to the owner of the vehicle.

A New Ulm officer and Brown County deputy recalled seeing the stolen vehicle traveling south on Broadway Street while on previous calls.

Area agencies, including the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office, were notified of the stolen vehicle.

The vehicle was located around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday by the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office on U.S. Highway 169 near the Blue Earth-Faribault County line. The vehicle was unoccupied and the handgun was missing.

At approximately 9 a.m. Thursday, Blue Earth County deputies responded to a suspicious person complaint in the Amboy area.

The suspicious person matched Smith’s description and he was taken into custody without incident.

Smith is currently being held in Brown County Jail. The firearm from the stolen SUV has not been recovered.

The New Ulm Police Department believes the two incidents are related.

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