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Douglas County deputies help search for suspect in Starbuck assault

A suspect was arrested and pending charges include first degree assault, fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and two counts of motor vehicle theft.

EP Crime
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STARBUCK — The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office was among 10 agencies that searched for a suspect accused of assaulting a man in Starbuck on Saturday, July 9.

At about 3:30 a.m., the Pope County Sheriff’s Office and the Starbuck Police Department responded to the Lakes Area Inn Hotel in Starbuck regarding an assault with a weapon.

Once officers arrived on scene the victim, an adult male, was transported by the Glacial Ridge Ambulance to the Glacial Ridge Hospital due to the severity of his injuries. The victim was later airlifted to the Hennepin County Medical Center and he remains hospitalized.

Agents with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Crime Lab were called to assist with the criminal investigation.

The suspect, identified as Justin Cardinal, 41, of Columbia Heights, fled on foot prior to law enforcement’s arrival on scene. Officers searched for hours in Starbuck attempting to locate Cardinal, according to a news release from Police Chief Mitch Johnsrud.

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During the investigation, the Pope County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a stolen motor vehicle just outside of Starbuck on South Shore Drive. Cardinal allegedly stole a Chevy truck with a boat trailer attached to it and then fled into Grant County.

Cardinal then abandoned the vehicle in a cornfield in Grant County and stole another motor vehicle in Elbow Lake, according to the news release.

Cardinal was observed by a witness who notified law enforcement of the motor vehicle theft. The witness then followed the motor vehicle until law enforcement caught up to the stolen motor vehicle in Ottertail County. Cardinal fled and was pursued by law enforcement, according to the news release.

Cardinal was later apprehended by the Ottertail County Sheriff’s Office and transported to Ottertail County Sheriff’s Jail to be held for court. Pending charges include first degree assault, fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and two counts of motor vehicle theft.

Department that assisted with the call: Starbuck Police Department, Glenwood Police Department, Pope County Sheriff’s Office, Glacial Ridge Ambulance, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Agents, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Crime Lab, Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Ottertail County Sheriff’s Office, and the Minnesota State Patrol.

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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