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Apple River camper accused of terrorizing others with knife

Mitchell Kufahl

A 19-year-old Minnesota man was charged Monday in St. Croix County Circuit Court following an incident at an Apple River campsite where he allegedly went at a group of campers with a knife.

Hanover, Minn., resident Mitchell Dorian Kufahl made his initial court appearance Monday, where St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Edward Vlack ordered him to post a $5,000 cash bond.

Kufahl was charged with four felony counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, one count of misdemeanor battery and one count of disorderly conduct.

According to a criminal complaint:

St. Croix County deputies were dispatched at 2:11 a.m. Sunday to River’s Edge Campground in Somerset for a man with a knife and a person who had been cut.

Deputies arrived to find Somerset police officers had already taken Kufahl into custody. A pocket knife with a four-inch blade was seen nearby.

Witnesses – a group of campers from Iowa – told officers that they were at the campsite when Kufahl, a stranger to them, arrived  and started going through their coolers and other belongings. Members of the group asked Kufahl to leave, which angered him.

They asked Kufahl, who was staying elsewhere at the campground, to leave again. That’s when the knife came out.

“They described him as ‘jabbing,’ ‘stabbing’ and ‘swinging’ the knife at them,” the complaint states. One of the witnesses later told police that Kufahl had charged at one of the campers with the knife during the episode.

Fearful that someone would be seriously injured, the campers surrounded Kufahl and tackled him after he took a swipe with the knife. One man in the group received minor cuts to the hand while disarming Kufahl.

Kufahl, who sustained minor cuts on his hand from the knife closing on him during the struggle, was first taken to Westfields Hospital in New Richmond, where a preliminary breath test revealed a 0.203 blood-alcohol concentration.

Officers said Kufahl acted as “dead weight” and spat at officer when being brought to jail – actions that prompted jail staff to have him medically cleared a second time. After being brought to Hudson Hospital, Kufahl returned to jail, where he continued to be disruptive and aggressive toward staff.

Kufahl has a preliminary hearing set for July 21.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is a regional/enterprise reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage includes St. Croix County government, higher education and state politics in Wisconsin. 

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