Man sentenced for use of deadly force against peace officer

Geving gets 10 years from September incident

By Rachel Kytonen

A late night encounter involving gunshots between a suicidal male and law enforcement has resulted in a 120 month prison sentence for a Cambridge man.

Ricky Alan Geving

Ricky Alan Geving, 49, was charged Oct. 3 in Isanti County District Court with use of deadly force against a peace officer, and 2nd degree assault with a dangerous weapon, both felonies, from an incident on Sept. 29 at a property on the 34550 block of Hastings St. N.E. in Cambridge.

Geving pled not guilty to both charges on Oct. 27 and waived his right to a jury trial. Judge P. Hunter Anderson presided over the trial held Dec. 5 and 6. On Dec. 15, he found Geving guilty of use of deadly force against a peace officer.

On Thursday, March 1, Judge Anderson sentenced Geving to 120 months at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud. Judge Anderson ordered Geving to serve a minimum of 80 months before he can be considered for supervised release for the remaining 40 months. He also ordered $2,283 in restitution due to the damage to the police cars from the gun shots. The restitution will be withheld from prison wages.

Isanti County Assistant Attorney Stacy St George said it’s fortunate no one was hurt or injured during the September incident.

“Every 53 hours an officer is killed,” St George said. “But because of the heroic efforts of Officer Chad Saleans, Deputy Chad Meyer, and the other officers present, the defendant didn’t have a chance to kill an officer. Because of their heroics, no one was killed during this incident. You know, we sit in this courtroom today safe and comfortable. We know that if there is a problem, if we are scared, we can call the police and they will come and help. All we have to do is push a button or make a phone call and they are here, protecting us.”

St George said officers can become concerned for their safety.

“What we don’t discuss, what we, the community, don’t want to know, is that they may be scared, too,” St George said. “ If you talk to an officer, as we do every day in this courtroom, they will tell you ‘it’s no big deal, it’s part of the job.’ But it is a big deal. And make no mistake about it, having a gun pointed at you is not part of the job.”

Four individuals located in a residence on the property had to be evacuated for their safety, and approximately 11 officers responded to the scene when the 911 call came in at 11:12 p.m.

At one point during the situation, Geving lowered the bail of the gun in the direction of law enforcement, causing a Cambridge police officer to fire two shots. A third shot then rang out, which was more of a boom from a shotgun or possibly Geving’s muzzle loader. After another conversation with Investigator Rob Bowker of the Isanti County Sheriff’s Department, Geving surrendered. Also taken into custody was Geving’s muzzle loader and a speed loader, which contained two pellets of black powder and a primer.

St George said the officers will never forget the Sept. 29 incident.

“What we saw during the trial, when the officers testified, were the real emotions,” St George said. “Officers were on the stand, and they teared up.  They admitted that they were in fear for their lives. Each officer told you that they didn’t think they would see their wives, children or parents again. They were forever impacted by this event. They will never go to another call, assist another person, and not think, ‘is this going to happen again?’ They will do their job differently because of this incident.”

Nathan Sosinski of the Isanti County Public Defender’s Office, who was representing Geving, said officers know the risks of being a police officer.

“Police officers are not placed in these situations often,” Sosinski said. “Officers I have talked to said they choose this job, and not to negate the situation, but they know what they’re getting into. They know the risks they have to deal with.”

Sosinski said Geving had been through some tough times prior to the Sept. 29 incident.

“Mr. Geving lost his son about a month and a half prior to the incident after he was hit by a car,” Sosinski said. “Part of him wishes the officers would have killed him when they arrived. Mr. Geving continues to be depressed. Law enforcement are trained well in their job to protect the public, but they are not social workers. They may act in good faith…but they are not equipped to handle a situation like this.”

St George said even when officers feel something isn’t right with a situation, they still respond.

“While we are sitting here today, somewhere in this county, in this state, in this country, an officer is stopping a car, making an arrest, doing their job,” St George said. “And their antennae is up and they are saying to themselves, ‘something doesn’t feel right.’ But they stay. They don’t run. Even though self-preservation kicks and every ounce of their being tells them to ‘run,’ they stay. When they think, ‘but I don’t want to die today,’ they go in anyway.”

Sosinksi said Geving understands the repercussions from the Sept. 29 incident.

“Mr. Geving knows what his obligations are and hasn’t complained about them … but I think 10 years in prison is too much,” Sosinksi said. “I think the situation could have turned out differently if different resources had been applied. Mr. Geving wasn’t looking to harm anyone; he was looking at harming himself. I think everyone’s interests would have been better served if different resources had been applied in a different manner.”

St George reminded those in the courtroom about the risks with being a police officer.

“When Deputy John McCarty walked on that porch the night of the crime, and saw the defendant holding his loaded rifle, and was told by Investigator Bowker, ‘the defendant said he will shoot the first person who walks through the door,’ Deputy McCarty stayed,”  St George said. “When a gun was pointed at all the officers, they all stayed. And more came. That is why they are our heroes. That is why the law protects them and says if someone points a gun at them, they are to go to prison for 10 years. That is why the law protects them. They protect us. They keep us safe; you, me, all of us. Now it’s our turn to protect them. It is your turn to protect them, your honor.”