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Infamously Bad Cop Gets Cool $150K Handout, Now Sells Frozen Bananas

Plus troublemakers in the sewers, Animales goes brick 'n' mortar, and a trophy buck gets rescued in today's Flyover.

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Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Banana-Selling Bad Apple Rewarded with Fat Stacks

Star Tribune columnist Jennifer Brooks nailed it when, while posting video of a MPD officer indiscriminately spraying protesters with mace from a moving squad vehicle, she captioned the now-viral clip: “Well THAT was uncalled for.” Thanks to new reporting from Minnesota Reformer’s Deena Winter, we now know the chemically irritating cop is named Samantha Belcourt. We also know two facts about her, one enraging and one goofy as hell. Citing PTSD, Belcourt retired early from the force and received a $150,000 workers’ comp settlement from the city, plus a disability pension courtesy of the state, Winter reports. Also? These days Belcourt runs a frozen banana food truck with her wife in Arizona, an Arrested Development-evoking revelation gleaned from this Alpha News puffpiece. During a deposition in May, Belcourt acknowledged the drive-by macing, adding that she was hurrying to “rescue” fellow officers from a “very violent” crowd. Right. Any potential disciplinary investigations into her actions would’ve ended the second she retired in March to pursue her weird new career. Here’s hoping Arizonans don’t get blasted with mace as the banana truck makes its rounds.

Animales Is Going Brick and Mortar

If an Instagram posted earlier today is to be believed, it looks like Animales BBQ Co.’s Jon Wipfli and Billy Sushi’s Billy Tserenbat are teaming up to open the former in a brick and mortar space in the near-ish future. “Billy brings a lot to the table and it’s finally time to get a real, permanent home for our bbq operation,” Wipfli wrote, adding that though they have a few spaces in mind they’d love to hear from folks with additional ideas. (He tells Mpls. St. Paul Mag’s Steph March they’re looking at buildings in the North Loop and in Northeast.) And though it’s been an annoying year for Animales, what with outdoor smoker ordinance drama and the closure of one of their brewery partners, it sounds like the outdoor meat trailers aren’t going anywhere either: “Thanks for keeping us in business the last 4+ years and we’ll see you at our new home and at the trailers in 2023,” his post concludes.

A Lot of People Were Hanging Out in Fridley’s Sewers Monday Night!

The hottest spot in Fridley is hard to get into and way, way underground. Earlier this week, 11 people were arrested for trespassing in the suburb’s sewers. Members of the group, ages 18 to 35, were busted after a neighbor called 911 to report seeing four people lift a manhole cover and crawl in. Police caught four as they were exiting the sewer from Main Street, a few more were apprehended in the sewer, and the final few were found on the street—their remarkable stench reportedly gave them away. The sewer friends told cops they’re in an urban adventure group and were just exploring. That hasn’t stopped folks from speculating that this crew was up to something nefarious, though, as the storm sewer goes through the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail yard and a public works water facility. “In light of Duke energy grid takedown it’s not a terrible idea to poke around the suspects background a little bit,” someone posted on Twitter. (A little background check via Facebook does suggest that these folks like wandering around caves and sewers for fun.) One member of the group, who is autistic, was released to a guardian (who also told police that her son was in an exploration group). The other 10 are being held at Anoka County Jail without bail until their court date.

Hero Buck Rescued by Hero Firefighters

We’ve heard of Big Buck Hunter… but big buck savers?! Thanks to the swift, brave, and chilly actions of the Thief River Falls Volunteer Fire Department, a trophy buck that had fallen through the ice of Red Lake River will “live another day”… and hopefully many, many more. A team of 10 firefighters attached tow straps to the buck’s irregular rack, the Grand Forks Herald reports, before hoisting him out of the water and onto the shore. “He just sat there for a minute or two, and then he got up and stumbled his way into the woods,” Fire Chief Rick Beier says. And get this: It was a celebrity deer! “And here’s the deal—he was kind of a legend around here anyway,” Beier continues. “A lot of people have caught him on their trail cameras and things like that. He’s been plastered on Facebook well before this, and all of a sudden—boom—there he is in the river.” Incredible stuff from the always entertaining creature beat. Take a gander at photos of the hero deer’s rescue here.