Soldier pleads guilty to assaulting sheriff’s deputy

February 4, 2014

LUDINGTON — A Michigan National Guard soldier who assaulted a Mason County sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty today in 51st Circuit Court. Eric Michael Klopp, 33, 1235 Sumac St., Fruitport, was charged with resisting and assaulting Dep. Ed Rasmussen, a corrections officer at the Mason County Jail, following a Nov. 20, 2013 drunk driving arrest.

Klopp told the court he was serving at the Manistee Armory. After duty, he began drinking. While it wasn’t his intention to get into a vehicle, he and another soldier ended up on a two-track on private property in northern Mason County. He said he believed the land owner called 911 and the Michigan State Police showed up. Though he wasn’t the initial driver of the vehicle, he said he ended up behind the wheel.

Klopp refused to take a breathalyzer test and was ultimately arrested and subjected to a blood test. His blood alcohol level was .31grahams per 100 milliliters of blood, more than three times the legal limit. He told Judge Richard Cooper that he probably had 12 to 15 beers in a six hour period.

While being booked at the Mason County Jail, he refused to take off his military dog tags, which caused him to get into a scuffle with Dep. Rasmussen.

The arrest was Klopp’s fourth drunk driving arrest. He has been arrested in Oceana County, Kalkaska County and Muskegon County.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 18 at 2:15 p.m. He will serve his sentence at the Muskegon County Jail so he can be released for work.

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