Minnesota restaurant owner arrested for COVID-19 violations speaks out

The sheriff’s office said that it was surveilling Hanson’s Airbnb in Iowa with the help of the Albert Lea Police Department. 

The Interchange in Albert Lea.

A Minnesota restaurant owner was arrested in Iowa Thursday on charges related to her decision to openly flout Gov. Tim Walz’s COVID-19 mandates.

Lisa Hanson, owner of The Interchange in Albert Lea, was among a large group of restaurant owners who, nearing collapse, opened their doors in defiance of Walz’s orders last December.

She has since been dealing with the legal fallout of that decision and now faces nine misdemeanor charges. Authorities issued a warrant for her arrest on March 10 after she failed to appear in court. She then apparently fled to Iowa.

Hanson maintains that she missed her court appearance because a formal summons was never issued.

The Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office announced in a press release that Hanson was arrested around 3 p.m. Thursday in Clear Lake, Iowa. The sheriff’s office revealed that it was surveilling Hanson’s Airbnb with the help of the Albert Lea Police Department.

She was taken into custody when she was spotted leaving the Airbnb and transported to the Cerro Gordo County Jail. According to the Albert Lea Tribune, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office approved Hanson’s extradition to Minnesota.

Lisa Hanson/Cerro Gordo County Jail

She posted bail around 5 p.m. and was released from custody, the outlet said. She joined Action 4 Liberty later that evening for an interview.

Hanson said she was arrested while walking on the beach and spent most of her time in Iowa working on her legal cases.

“We have over 20 counter-claims and lawsuits against over 30 individuals in the state of Minnesota,” she said. “I think somebody is absolutely trying to make an example out of a law-abiding citizen who’s just trying to run her business.”

“Our government is out of control, absolutely out of control. We’ve got a lot of bad players in the state of Minnesota,” she added.

Hanson will be speaking at a rally Saturday in Albert Lea along with Dr. Scott Jensen, Rep. Erik Mortensen, and Sen. Mark Koran.

“Let me be perfectly clear here: It is Keith Ellison and Gov. Tim Walz that should be imprisoned for their crimes against humanity — stripping away human rights for the last 14 months,” Mortensen said in a statement posted to Facebook.

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