A judge in bench trial has found Duluth firefighter guilty of felony third-degree assault for injuring a woman on a western Duluth trail in July 2020. 50-year-old Conrad Sunde the Fourth was on his bicycle with three off-leash dogs when 65-year-old Mary Modec called him out for violating the city’s leash law. Modec reached for her phone to take a photo, and Sunde testified he saw a pepper spray canister around Modec’s neck, “instantly reacted… and knocked her down. I was in fear of my safety,” he testified. Sunde said he lost his balance and fell, but Modec testified “he was on top of me.” Modec’s nose was broken, and she said her eye is permanently bruised and she must have surgery if she wants to again breathe normally.