The day Curt Felt died


On June 29, 1978, Deputy Curt Felt was called in from road duty to transport a prisoner to the jail in Fergus Falls as Douglas County was in the process of building a new jail.

According to a page within the Douglas County Sheriff's Office website — "In Memory - the Curt Felt Story" — here's what happened:

It all began when James Kroupa was picked up by an Alexandria police officer a year earlier and charged with driving under the influence. He was found guilty of the charge and ordered to pay a fine. When he failed to do so, Kroupa was then ordered to appear in court on June 29.

Kroupa was sentenced to 30 days in jail. Kroupa, who at the time had four guns in his possession, left the courtroom. Two guns were tucked in his belt, one in a boot and the other in his coat.

When Felt arrived to take him to jail, Kroupa started shooting, then fled the building. Felt was able to walk a few feet to an office.

Alexandria Police Officer Steven Caye spotted Kroupa's vehicle and a chase began. Kroupa shot at least five rounds at the squad car. Police Officer Lamont Mounsdon joined the chase that eventually ended along a dead end road.

Kroupa stopped his pickup and ducked behind a tree as he continued to shoot. A woman and her young daughter on the porch of a nearby home were caught in the crossfire. To protect the mom and daughter, Mounsdon shot Kroupa.

Felt, who was 23, died three-and-a-half hours later while in surgery at Douglas County Hospital. He left behind his wife of six months, his father and mother, and 7-year-old twin brothers.

Kroupa died three days later at the University of Minnesota Hospital in Minneapolis.

Related story: Pedaling with honor: Jail administrator rides for fallen deputy Curt Felt