Retired firefighter charged in assault of former Gophers player arrested again

The retired Minneapolis firefighter, charged last week with the assault of a former Gophers football player, is back in jail days after making bail.

The Associated Press reports 54-year-old Eric Jagers was arrested in Breckenridge, Minnesota, a city along Minnesota's border with South Dakota about 45 miles south of Fargo.

According to the report, police were called around 7 a.m. for the report of a "suspicious person" at the Blazer Express gas station. According to police, the man was seen cutting off his ankle bracelet at the gas station before driving off in a pickup truck.

This ultimately led to a police chase with speeds reaching up to 90 mph which ended with a crash. Police said after the crash, Jagers drew a hunting bow on officers. The Associated Press reports police used bean bags and pepper ball rounds to take him into custody.

A statement from police said mental health appeared to be a factor in the confrontation, the AP added.

The Wilkins County Jail roster shows Jagers in custody as of Saturday morning for fleeing a police officer and obstructing legal process.

Previous arrest

According to court documents, Jagers hurled racial slurs and shot at former gopher running back Tellis Redmon Friday in Minneapolis’ Bancroft neighborhood.

Redmon told police he was driving down the alley near the 4000 block of 17th Avenue South, on his way to pick up his son, when he encountered debris in the road. Redmon said he tried to avoid the debris, but ended up running over a piece of wood, prompting Jagers to throw a boot at his car. 

When Redmon stopped to talk to the suspect, the situation escalated. Police say Jagers emerged from the garage with a gun and when Redmon tried to grab the gun from him, a struggle ensued. Redmon told police Jagers held the barrel of the gun next to his head and pulled the trigger. 

Several neighbors, who say Jagers has a history of threatening behavior, ran to help.

Questions about bail

Even though a neighbor told police Jagers appeared unstable at times and investigators say he had fired a round outside a fire station that day, a mental health evaluation was not ordered as one of the conditions of his release.

"Unfortunately the people who are trained in mental health aren't the people who are on the bench," said University of St Thomas law professor Mark Osler.

Osler says according to state law, mental health should come into play when setting bail, but it would be unusual for a judge to go into it with much depth during a typical bail hearing.

"Criminal law is all about tragedy and this is a really tragic case. It's tragic for the victim who was assaulted. It's tragic for people that might have been around the gun gunfire. It's tragic for the police who had to chase this guy for a while and it shows how a little bit of attention to mental health can pay big dividends," said Osler.