Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Staff reports
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Growing rap sheet for local woman


A Sandstone woman who was previously convicted of breaking into the old East Central Elementary School last year made statewide news last week for allegedly dragging an officer with her car after she was confronted for shoplifting in North Branch.

The incident happened on July 23 around 6:40 p.m. at a Shopko store. According to published reports, an officer was doing a business check when an employee there told the officer a female customer was acting suspicious and putting items in her bag.

The officer approached the suspect, Melissa Madelyne Zielinski, as she walked from the business to her vehicle. Zielinski got into her vehicle. The officer then tried to get control of the ignition key, but Zielinski allegedly put the car in reverse, dragging the officer 10 feet and causing the officer’s feet to hit a cart corral.

Zielinski then put the vehicle into drive, and was stopped by other deputies on the scene. Zielinski also allegedly struggled with officers as she was taken into custody. She was arrested on seven counts, including second-degree felony assault, fourth-degree felony assault on a peace officer, fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance, felony possession of shoplifting gear, felony theft, obstructing legal process and driving after revocation.

Since 1996, Zielinski has had 40 criminal cases against her, and was sentenced for the theft at the school to 21 months in March 2016, but was placed on probation for five years, and is currently on probation. That case started in December 2014.

In September 2013, she was also arrested for stealing from the Mercy Hospital construction site and from a home on Woodland Avenue in Moose Lake. In that case she was originally charged with two counts of burglary in the third degree and theft.


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