Maple Grove Man Charged with Assaulting Woman in Walmart Parking Lot
Police say Tyler Joseph Muench repeatedly punched the woman after she apparently angered him while driving.
A Maple Grove man has been charged with repeatedly punching a woman in the head in the parking lot of the Maple Grove Walmart earlier this month after the woman apparently offended him while driving.
Tyler Joseph Muench, 22, is charged with third-degree assault, a felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, signed by Maple Grove Police Officer Laurel Slawson, police were called to the Walmart parking lot on June 4 on an assault report.
When they arrived, they found the victim lying on the ground near her car, with several Walmart employees standing nearby and a torn piece of clothing lying near her.
The woman told police that she had been driving near her assailant, later identified as Muench, before entering the store’s parking lot, and that Muench was “jerking and swerving” and making an obscene gesture.
Muench followed her into the parking lot and threw something at her car, according to the complaint. The woman said she drove around to get a look at his car’s license plate, and that Muench stopped his car and got out.
The woman told police that she was afraid of what might happen to her son, who was in her car, so she got out to talk to Muench. When she asked him what was wrong, he punched her in the head, and continued punching her, according to the complaint.
The woman, who estimated that Muench punched her 10 times, tried to defend herself, scratching Muench and grabbing his t-shirt, according to the complaint. She told police that she didn’t know how she ended up on the ground.
Officers interviewed a witness who said he was across from Walmart when he heard a woman screaming for help. He told police that he saw Muench repeatedly punching the victim, then running to his car and driving away.
Another witness, a Walmart employee, told police that he also heard the woman screaming for help. He came outside and saw the woman lying in the parking lot and Muench driving away; the employee later identified Muench in a photo lineup, as did the victim.
Police executed a search warrant at Muench’s Maple Grove home and found his car and a torn t-shirt. They also noticed scratches on Muench, according to the complaint.
The victim received medical treatment for her injuries and diagnosed with multiple facial contusions and a closed head injury, according to the complaint.
Muench is free on a $40,000 bond. An omnibus hearing in his case is scheduled July 10 in Hennepin County District Court.