LEE COUNTY, Fla.- A man charged with severely beating a Minnesota police officer is under arrest in Fort Myers. Tevan Gant, 22, was located Friday at approximately 3:00 p.m. at his mother's residence on the 6000 block of Meadowview Circle.
Gant assaulted a police sergeant in Thief River Falls, Minnesota on December 5, 2011.
According to the Minnesota warrant, Gant was a patient at a Thief River Falls mental health facility when he began displaying bizarre behavior. Police were called to assist. Gant refused to go to the room where he was assigned and insisted that he wanted to be in a different room. When informed that he needed to go to his assigned room or be physically escorted, Gant turned and violently attacked Sgt. Michael Puetz (pronounced Pitts). Gant punched Sgt. Puetz approximately 20 times before he was subdued by other officers.
Instead of being arrested, Gant was held in a psychiatric unit. Upon his release, Gant moved to Fort Myers. When he missed a manadory court appearance in Minnesota, the warrant was issued for his arrest.
The injuries suffered in the beating forced an end to Sgt. Puetz's 20-year career. Thief River Falls Police Chief Kim Murphy says the case has taken an emotional toll on everyone in his department.
"Mike was a great officer, did a great job and loved his profession," said Chief Murphy. "In the blink of an eye, everything for him changed. Obviously no one wants to see a career end this way."
The arrest also brings satisfaction to members of the Lee County Fugitive Warrants Unit.
"Our job is to take wanted felons off our streets," said Lt. John Drum, commander of the Fugitive Warrants Unit. "I hope a fellow sergeant can rest a little easier knowing his assailant is behind bars."
With emotion evident in his voice, Sgt Puetz said he wanted to express his admiration and thanks to the Fugitive Warrants Unit.
"I'm just so happy you got him," Sgt. Puetz said.
Gant is currently in the Lee County Jail awaiting extradition to Minnesota where he faces charges of Assault with Bodily Injury and Assaulting a Police Officer.