Why is he still able to draw a breath? Light your kid on fire? Beatdown on two women? Abusing his disabled father? Oh, yeah, the innocent until proven guilty thing, right?

Man charged with trying to set son on fire accused of choking girlfriend, prompting standoff

By April Baumgarten Today at 1:43 p.m.


THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn.—A Thief River Falls man accused of trying to set his son on fire now faces charges after police say he choked and hit two women before prompting an hours-long standoff this past weekend.

Michael Roy Nelson, 46, appeared Monday, Oct. 18, in Pennington County District Court on a felony domestic assault by strangulation charge, two misdemeanor charges of domestic assault and fifth-degree assault.

He also faces charges from an April incident in which he is accused of trying to set his son on fire and dragging his father, who uses a wheelchair, down a hall.

The latest charges stem from a report Friday of a fight at an apartment.
Court documents state Nelson assaulted his girlfriend and another woman. A fight broke out after Nelson allegedly became verbally aggressive, telling his girlfriend he had sexual relations with another woman but claimed it wasn’t cheating.

The criminal complaint states Nelson choked his girlfriend, who was able free herself and call another woman, who came to assist her. He then grabbed his girlfriend’s throat again and punched the other woman.

When police arrived at the scene, they said they could hear Nelson moving furniture in an apparent attempt to barricade himself in an apartment building. A perimeter was set up around the area and SWAT members were called to the scene. Hours later, police entered the apartment and arrested Nelson.

Previous charges

Nelson also faces assault charges in a case stemming from an April 10 incident in which he is accused of arson. Court documents state he became angry about an argument with family members about a loan given to his son to purchase a dirt bike.

Witnesses told investigators Nelson climbed into the back of a truck where the bike was stored, tipped over the bike, took off its gas cap and tried to light it on fire with a match. They also said he tried to start a tractor on fire.
A criminal complaint in the case said Nelson then took a can of ether and lit it with a match before spraying it toward his son, lighting the front of the boy’s sweatshirt on fire. Nelson also is accused of dragging his father, who uses a wheelchair, out of bed and down the hall.

Nelson faces multiple charges in the case, including attempted arson and felony assault.

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