Minn. FF-EMT guilty of third-degree assault in dispute over off-leash dogs

Conrad John Sunde IV works for the Duluth Fire Department; state and federal boards will determine whether his licenses should be suspended or revoked

By Leila Merrill

DULUTH, Minn. — A firefighter-EMT was convicted Monday of assaulting a woman during a dispute over his off-leash dogs in 2020, the Duluth News Tribune reported.

Conrad John Sunde IV was found guilty of third-degree assault of 65-year-old Mary Modec on the Duluth Traverse Trail System. 

Modec, 65, asked him to put his dogs on leashes, in accordance with a city ordinance. Their accounts of the assault differ, but it was undisputed that her nose was broken.

Sunde’s sentencing has not been scheduled, and his professional future is in question.

Minnesota sentencing guidelines include a presumptive probationary sentence for a first-time offender convicted of third-degree assault.

Sunde, 50, is actively employed by the Duluth Fire Department, and state and federal boards will determine whether his licenses should be suspended or revoked.

“Our firefighters are required to have a valid emergency medical technician certificate and state of Minnesota firefighter license," said Noah Schuchman, the city of Duluth's chief administrative officer. "Mr. Sunde’s felony was promptly reported to the boards that regulate EMT certification and firefighter licensure — the Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Board, National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians and Minnesota Board of Firefighter Training and Education.

"Any of those agencies may suspend or revoke Mr. Sunde’s EMT certificate or firefighter license. How these regulatory agencies will rule, or when, is outside of the city of Duluth’s control and we would refer further inquiries to them on this matter.”

Sunde has served with the Duluth department since January 2001, had no prior disciplinary history and received the Firefighter of the Year Award from the Kiwanis Club of Friendly Duluth in 2012. 

He served a 30-day unpaid suspension immediately after the incident.

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