The pastor of First Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes has been accused of stealing liquor from the Detroit Lakes municipal liquor store and scratching a person's vehicle with a metal object after an altercation with a woman at the liquor store on Dec. 20.
John Hastings Simonson, 38, of Detroit Lakes has been charged in Becker County District Court with gross misdemeanor third-degree criminal damage to property, and misdemeanor theft.
According to court records and the police incident report, about 9 p.m. on Dec. 20 Simonson allegedly had a verbal altercation with Jamie Lynn Kunz, 40, of rural Frazee at Lakes Liquor. Reached by phone, Kunz said she didn't know Simonson prior to the incident and didn't want to talk about what happened.
Following the altercation, he allegedly used a metal object to scrape or "key" her brown 2014 Buick Enclave.
Video footage of the parking lot showed Simonson using a metal object to make a downward scratch near the passenger side front and rear door. He made a statement admitting to damaging the victim's vehicle. The cost of repair was listed as just over $593. An affidavit for restitution was served Jan. 29.
Video footage from inside the liquor store allegedly shows Simonson approach a display of "shooters" or mini bottles of alcohol, take an unknown number of shooters, place them in his pocket, and continue to shop. He then left the store without paying for the merchandise in his pocket.
On Jan. 29, Becker County District Judge Gretchen Thilmony issued a summons for Simonson to appear in court on Feb. 25.