Treats Family Restaurant

TOP LEFT: Religious leaders visit Lonsdale to speak with Treats Family Restaurant Owner Dan Ruedinger. After their visit, they spoke with media about the conversation. TOP RIGHT: A statement of “MUSLIMS GET OUT” on the sign at Treats Family Restaurant in Lonsdale led to an incident involving police on Monday afternoon. Later, the owner would add “IN SUPPORT OF ST CLOUD” to the sign. (Photos by Lori Nickel/News-Review)

It didn’t take long for a sign in Lonsdale that reads “MUSLIMS GET OUT” to require police involvement.

But where Lonsdale Police stepped in was for an “altercation,” as Lonsdale Police Chief Jason Schmitz stated that the business owner was within his First Amendment right to put up the statement. 

After a weekend of national news coverage of alleged attacks in New York, New Jersey and St. Cloud, Dan Ruedinger, owner of Treats Family Restaurant in Lonsdale, said he couldn’t take it any longer, and took to his sign to voice his opinion.

On Monday morning (Sept. 19), Ruedinger changed his outdoor business sign to read: “MUSLIMS GET OUT.”

“I’ve had enough and I’m standing up,” he said. “With all the bombs and shootings we’ve had, we’re supposed to welcome refugees here who want to kill us? This has nothing to do with race, it has to do with a religion of hatred that preaches violence.

“Some Muslims are good people and want a better life. They need to step up, take control and hold the others accountable.”

By Monday afternoon, an incident over the sign prompted a call to police.

Chief Schmitz said an adult female didn’t agree with the sign and stopped at the restaurant, and proceeded to pull the letters from the sign. Schmitz said the owner told her to stop and a small “altercation” then occurred.

Schmitz said there were no injuries reported and no arrests made.

Lonsdale Mayor Tim Rud issued a public statement following the incident at the restaurant.

“Certainly and in no way does the city condone discrimination.”

The sign, located at 115 SW Railway St., has also led to many voicing their opinions on social media, specifically on a Lonsdale-focused Facebook page. Some claim the businessman has the right, while others condemned his decision.

More will be added to the story as it develops.

Lori Nickel is the publisher and editor of the Lonsdale News-Review. Reach her at 507-744-2551.

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