Soldier sentenced to 1 year in jail for assaulting deputy

April 8, 2014
Eric Klopp

Eric Klopp

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — A Michigan National Guard soldier who assaulted a Mason County sheriff’s deputy was sentenced to a year in jail today in 51st Circuit Court. Eric Michael Klopp, 33, 1235 Sumac St., Fruitport, pleaded guilty in February for 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, using a government owned vehicle.

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, during a previous hearing, 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 arrest records in Oceana, Kalkaska and Muskegon counties.

Judge Richard Cooper sentenced Klopp to one year in jail, serving six months up front. However, if he has the option to serve four months if he were to enter into a 60-day minimum inpatient program.

As a result of this sentence, Klopp will be discharged from the military and will not be eligible to re-enlist.

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