Charges Reduced Again in Superior Arrest, Investigation Report Still Under Review

Updated: 03/18/2014 10:37 PM
Created: 03/18/2014 2:30 PM

The Douglas County District Attorney filed an amended complaint Tuesday, dropping Natasha Lancour's resisting arrest charge. She now faces one count of disorderly conduct.

Lancour was arrested outside Keyport Lounge on Jan. 5. In his report Officer George Gothner wrote that Lancour struck and scratched him during the incident, and he responded with a closed fist punch to her face.

Lancour was initially charged with a felony for battery of a peace officer. On Jan. 31, Douglas County DA, Daniel Blank, amended the battery charge to a misdemeanor resisting an officer.

In court Tuesday, Blank motioned to amend the complaint again, dropping the resisting arrest charge and focusing on the disorderly conduct charge with an expanded probable cause.

"What you're seeing and hearing is my decision to kind of draw a line in the sand...two wrongs don't make a right," said Blank. "There's a lot of talk that Officer Gothner was in the wrong, there's some talk that Ms. Lancour was in the wrong so my theory at this point is to separate out what led to the police involvement and... to focus on Ms. Lancour's behavior."

Blank said the other matter, the arrest which is seen on "dashcam" video, is being taken up by the Department of Justice, which is under review by the Bayfield County District Attorney.

Lancour's attorney, Rick Gondik, said the defense was "adamantly opposed" to the motion to amend the complaint.

"We are now basically focusing on a little different target. The courts expanded the behavior that's in question to a three and a half hour period of time, when before we were looking at about a minute of time," said Gondik.

Gondik said they were prepared to go to trial with both resisting arrest and disorderly conduct charges. Now, he said, they will have to change their plan and call more witnesses. A trial date was set for March 25, but Gondik asked for a continuance to prepare for the amended complaint.

The judge also continued the Injunction and Protection Order prohibiting the release or discussion of the contents in the Department of Justice report regarding Officer George Gothner and the alleged use of excessive force.

The DOJ investigation is still under review by the Bayfield County District Attorney.

Lancour will next appear in court June 4 for a motion hearing.

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