Owner of Lakeville bar that reopened in defiance of COVID-19 restrictions charged in September with attempted murder of cops 

By: - December 18, 2020 9:54 am

Ricardo Baldazo is out on bail after being charged in September with attempted murder of Burnsville police after a standoff at his mother’s house.

When the co-owner of a Lakeville bar called Alibi Drinkery decided to reopen the bar in defiance of Gov. Tim Walz’s pandemic restrictions Wednesday, it wasn’t his first brush with the law.

Ricardo Baldazo, 39, of Prior Lake is charged with two counts of first-degree attempted murder and two counts of first-degree assault after firing off numerous rounds during a Sept. 2 standoff with police in Burnsville. His past was first reported on Twitter by Lindsay Guentzel of Bring Me the News.

The bar has achieved national notoriety for crowded carousing this week even as most Minnesotans are staying home to avoid the latest pandemic spike, which has sickened thousands of Minnesotans.

According to the charging documents:

Baldazo allegedly called police Sept. 2 to report someone broke into his house and was holding him at gunpoint. The dispatcher and police officers were unable to call him back, so two detectives nearby in an unmarked patrol car responded. They found an elderly woman sitting on the front deck, oblivious to why police were called. She told them her son, Baldazo, was inside napping.

Baldazo’s brother arrived and said Baldazo was inside, “high” and armed, according to the documents. Then gunshots were heard coming from inside, so officers took cover. Several officers feared for their safety and others’ within close range, as gunshots struck tree branches near two Burnsville police officers who had arrived at the scene.

As officers maintained cover, Baldazo allegedly jumped from a window with a handgun in each hand. He then dropped the weapons when ordered and was taken into custody. Police said he had a handgun with a live round, a revolver with loaded chambers and an unloaded Glock pistol, according to the statement of probable cause.

Baldazo was taken to a hospital, and officers rode in the ambulance, where he told them he was upset with police because he was the one who called for help. Police found six spent casings and two live rounds inside the home. 

Baldazo’s mother said he had come over around 4 a.m. after getting in a fight with his girlfriend. The mother had spoken with him minutes before police arrived and he appeared “completely normal,” she said.

Baldazo’s bail was set at $1 million without conditions, or $750,000 with conditions, by Dakota County District Court Judge Tim Wermager. He faces a maximum penalty of 80 years. He bonded out of jail on Sept. 11 by posting $750,000; one of the conditions of his release is that he remain law-abiding.

His next court appearance is March 9, according to the Dakota County Attorney’s Office.

The governor banned all bars and restaurants from selling alcohol inside from Nov. 20 through Friday (which he has pushed back to Jan. 11); Alibi Drinkery is one of a handful of businesses that reopened this week in defiance of the order.

The Department of Public Safety can take civil action and said Wednesday it intends to suspend Alibi’s liquor license for 60 days. Alibi Drinkery posted on Facebook Thursday saying it was open again anyway, since its license can’t be suspended until after a hearing. Then Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office sued the bar/restaurant, along with a Princeton bar, and filed late Thursday for a temporary restraining order to force Alibi to close. 

The Lakeville bar’s license apparently hasn’t been affected by the criminal charges against Baldazo because he hasn’t been convicted.  

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Deena Winter
Deena Winter

Deena Winter has covered local and state government in four states over the past three decades, with stints at the Bismarck Tribune in North Dakota, as a correspondent for the Denver Post, city hall reporter in Lincoln, Nebraska, and regional editor for Southwest News in the western Minneapolis suburbs.