Weather Forecast


Swamp combat requires mutual aid, use of Taser gun; officer injured with broken thumb

A 23-year-old Knapp man wouldn’t release the headlock he had on another man pinned beneath him in a swampy detention basin behind Junior’s Bar and Jimmy John’s restaurant in downtown River Falls after 2 a.m. Sunday.

And that’s not all:

--The victim, a 22-year-old Ellsworth man, later said the Knapp man was his best buddy. The Ellsworth man said he tried to prevent this good friend from getting into another fight after they left Junior’s Bar at closing. Instead, his friend allegedly turned on him and ended up crushing him in the little swamp.

--River Falls police called for mutual aid. They got it – with an officer from UW-River Falls and sheriff’s deputies from Pierce and St. Croix counties. The UWRF officer wound up with injuries from being repeatedly kicked and also sustained a broken thumb.

--After being warned before, a police sergeant who arrived from another incident used his Taser gun to try to stun the Knapp man. The stunning had little effect.

--While officers and deputies did manage to get the assailant to release the other man from a headlock, they said he turned his fighting skills on them – kicking, pushing, shoving, grabbing and pinching, not to mention screaming obscenities and threats.

After prolonged efforts, the Knapp man was finally handcuffed, forced into the back a squad car and hauled off to county jail in Ellsworth. Along the way, he allegedly kept butting his head and making death and sexual threats to the officer who was driving – also allegedly directing these threats to the officer’s wife and family.

The Pierce County district attorney will decide on criminal charges. These could include battery to a cop, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

For more, please see Police Beat in the Aug. 8 print edition of the River Falls Journal.