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Published November 10, 2009, 07:18 AM

Iron Range man charged with backhoe assault

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Prosecutors charged the co-owner of a Hermantown construction company with allegedly assaulting a construction worker with a backhoe.

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Prosecutors charged the co-owner of a Hermantown construction company with allegedly assaulting a construction worker with a backhoe.

The criminal complaint says 48-year-old Michael David Billman of Saginaw told investigators he wanted to "nudge" the victim, but didn't want to hurt him. He also said it was a stupid thing to do.

It happened at 11:14 a.m. Wednesday, when the 24-year-old victim sought care in an emergency room. He reported he was at a job site when he was intentionally struck by Billman.

Hermantown police Sgt. Mark Gunderson says it appears Billman didn't think the construction worker in the trench was doing his job right, so he hit him with the backhoe.

The victim was diagnosed with bruises, but no broken bones.

Billman was charged with second-degree assault.

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