The son of the Meeker County Sheriff is in trouble with police.
The last time he had a run-in with the law, his father tried to protect him, but now, Kandiyohi County officials have charged 24-year old Benjamin Jeffrey Norlin with fourth-degree DWI, third-degree assault and drug possession after he was accused of getting into a fight.
The FOX 9 Investigators obtained records last fall showing Benjamin had been in a domestic situation with a gun. The documents detailed how his father, Meeker County Sheriff Jeff Norlin withheld his son's name from dispatch radio communications.
Neighboring city police claimed the lack of information put officers at risk while they searched for Benjamin. No one ended up getting hurt in that domestic dispute in November 2010.
According to court records, Benjamin was pulled over by a Kandiyohi county deputy while driving in Willmar around 2 a.m. on Monday, July 18. The criminal complaint reads the deputy was on his way to take a report from one of Benjamin's friends at a hosptial in Willmar when he spotted Sheriff Norlin's son. The two men had been in a physical fight after leaving a bar in Spicer. The friend, who says he did not fight back, was treated in the E.R. for a deep gash above his eye and an apparent broken cheek bone he received in the altercation.
When stopped, the deputy said Benjamin exhibited signs of alcohol consumption, failed field sobriety tests and registered a blood-alcohol content .20.
In a police interview, Benjamin admitted to being in the bar with his friend, arguing but denied being in a fist fight. He later told deputies he "flipped out" regarding his friend.
Deputies said they also found a small baggie containing marijuana, a blue and yellow pipe "of the type" used to smoke controlled substances in the center console of the vehicle Benjamin was driving.
Benjamin's father responded to a Fox 9 News request to comment about his son's arrest and charges: "Ben served a tour in Iraq. He has issues as a result of that tour. He is my son and I love and care for him. I am not involved, nor will I be involved, with his legal issues. I do not condone breaking the law. But I am his father and will do what I can to help him overcome the emotional problems he now suffers as a result of his service to this country." Meeker County Sheriff, Jeff Norlin.