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Wadena officer injured in scrap with suspect over allegedly stolen scrap metal

Joshua Karsnia

WADENA -- A Perham man is accused of striking a Wadena police officer while resisting arrest and causing an injury to the officer's wrist.

On Jan. 18, Officer Nick Grabe investigated the possible theft of 20 aluminum wheel rims. The owner of a salvage yard in Wadena reported the possible theft of the items from a salvage yard south of Park Rapids in Hubbard County. Some similar rims had been reported stolen, and someone had used a grinder to remove identifying information from the rims. The owner of the Wadena scrap yard said there was no legitimate reason for the info to be ground off, the officer noted in his report.

Grabe questioned the person who sold the rims in Wadena, Joshua Karsnia, who denied the rims were stolen and said he had bought them from a man named Levi in Detroit Lakes, according to a police report. But Karsnia couldn't produce a last name for the man, or any contact information.

Karsnia was asked if he was on probation or parole, and he said he was for being a felon in possession of a firearm, a police report said. Grabe asked Karsnia what the original felony was, and he replied it was for burglary.

A Hubbard County investigator arrived and allegedly matched Karsnia's tire tracks to some found at the scene of the theft. The investigator told Karsnia he was under arrest for theft, and Karsnia bolted and ran through the Wadena scrap yard, the police report said.

Grabe warned and attempted to Tase the suspect, but missed, and Grabe pursued on foot. When he caught up to Karsnia, the suspect allegedly swung at the officer with a closed fist but missed. The officer reported he struck Karsnia a couple of times while Karsnia continued to swing at him. The officer said he was struck on the left side of the head above the left ear with a closed fist. Grabe and the Hubbard officer were able to subdue and handcuff Karsnia, according to the report, but Grabe also suffered an injury to his right wrist during the confrontation. He was later treated at the emergency room.

Karsnia was arrested for possession of stolen property, fourth-degree assault, obstructing the legal process with force, and fleeing on foot. He was charged this week and bond was set at $35,000, or $3,500 cash bail if Karsnia agrees to follow conditions set by the court. His first appearance was set for Jan. 26.