By Janice Gregorson

A Dover woman allegedly hit a man in the head with the blunt end of a hatchet, then tried to strangle him with a lariat in a dispute last week over cows.

Brenda Kay Shorter, 35, has been charged with two felony counts of second-degree assault with dangerous weapons. Unconditional bail was set at $40,000 and conditional bail at $20,000. She returns to Olmsted District Court May 12.

Sheriff deputies were called late Friday afternoon to the Eyota Kwik Trip, where a woman told officers about an attack on a friend the previous day at a farm in Dover Township.


The complaint says deputies went to the farm and talked to the 44-year-old victim, who said he was milking cows when he felt something hit the back of his head. At first he thought it was a cow kicking him, he said; then he was struck at least three more times by the woman, who is his sister-in-law and was hitting him with the blunt end of a hatchet, then tried to strangle him with a lariat. He said he took the hatchet away from her but had to punch her in the face to stop her from assaulting him. He said she fell to the ground and was knocked out for about 30 seconds.

According to the complaint, the victim said Shorter became upset with him because of how he treated the cows.

She told deputies that she walked up behind the man and hit him in the head with the hatchet and he fell to the ground. She said they had not been talking or arguing prior to the incident, the complaint says.

She told deputies she didn’t remember anything else, but said she "just lost control and couldn’t take it any more,’’ according to the complaint.

She was treated at Saint Marys Hospital for a concussion and two fractures to the lower area of her left cheek. He had two deep lacerations and two abrasions on the top of his head, the complaint says. He was treated at Olmsted Medical Center.

Authorities said they found a bloody hatchet and the victim’s bloody hat in the storage room of the milk house. The lariat was found outside the milk house entrance.

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