An Oct. 17, 2019, confrontation between police and a knife-wielding man in front of the Cameron Public Library has resulted in a felony charge of attempted aggravated battery of an elderly person, according to a complaint filed Wednesday, Nov. 13, in Barron County Circuit Court.
The defendant is identified as Michael W. Rust, 39, 502 Arlington Ave., Cameron.
The complaint said the defendant allegedly got into an argument with his elderly father on the afternoon of Oct. 17, cut his own throat with the knife, threatened the father with the same weapon, and then fled from his parents’ home.
A Cameron officer who responded to the incident found a man, later identified as the defendant, sitting on the front steps of the Cameron Community Center. The complaint said the defendant was seen holding a knife and refused repeated orders to drop it.
Barron County Sheriff’s deputies arrived, and one of them loaded a shotgun with bean bags, while the Cameron officer ordered the defendant, once again, to put down the knife or he was either going to be hit with bean bags or possibly shot with a Taser.
The defendant then dropped the knife on the sidewalk. A Sheriff’s Department sergeant kicked the knife away.
The defendant “refused to cooperate” with attempts to put him in custody. It took four officers to force the defendant to the ground before he could be cuffed.
In its Oct. 23 edition, the News-Shield reported that, according to Cameron Police Chief Michael Lynch, the defendant was first taken to the Amery Behavioral Health Center for a 72-hour emergency mental health detention. But later, the defendant was refused treatment and was taken back to Barron Hospital for further evaluation.
Meanwhile, Cameron police looked for an alternative treatment facility. At 1:55 a.m. Friday, Oct. 18, Cameron police transported the suspect to Rhinelander Hospital, a distance of more than 120 miles.
Officers returned to Cameron at 7:30 a.m. Friday. In all, the incident took 15 hours to close, Lynch said
Court records said the defendant appeared in a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 19, and is free on bond pending arraignment on Jan. 24, 2020. Conditions of bond require him to remain alcohol free and to avoid his parents’ home.
If convicted, he could face up to four years behind bars and/or fines of up to $16,000.