St. Croix County stabbing suspect charged Monday in court
The 52-year-old man from Prior Lake, Minn. is charged with 1st-degree intentional homicide and 4 counts of attempted homicide.
HUDSON, Wis. (WEAU) - The suspect in a deadly stabbing spree in St. Croix County Saturday is charged after appearing in court Monday.
52-year-old Nicolae Miu of Prior Lake, Minn., who is being held at the St. Croix County Jail, was charged with one count of 1st-degree intentional homicide and four counts of attempted 1st-degree intentional homicide for allegedly stabbing five people on the Apple River Saturday, killing one person.
Prosecutors recommended a $500,000 cash bond with conditions that Miu not contact the victims and must maintain absolute sobriety, as well as be subject to GPS monitoring to only go to work and home. The defense recommended $50,000 cash bond, citing a lack of a criminal history, and that his GPS monitoring would require him to stay in the states of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Judge Michael Waterman cited the severity of the charges and five victims, including one death, in setting bail at $1,000,000 cash. Miu will also not be allowed to possess dangerous weapons, must maintain absolute sobriety, and is restricted from a half-mile from each victim’s home. A conviction of 1st-degree intentional homicide in Wisconsin carries a mandatory life sentence in prison.
Miu will appear in court August 5 for a status conference to determine whether or not he has hired a lawyer and August 12 for his preliminary hearing.
According to court documents filed with the charges, Miu was with a group of people that included his wife at the river to go tubing on July 30. According to Miu’s wife, he left the group to look for a phone someone in their group had dropped in the river, and wore what she described as scuba gear. Miu’s wife said that she saw a group of men near where he was looking for the phone, and after Miu came back to the group, decided to go back to the area to try and look for the phone again. Miu’s wife told investigators that the group of men got off of their tubes and started fighting with Miu. By the time Miu’s group got to the confrontation, it was over, and Miu told the group that people were calling him a pedophile and that they tried to take his knife away from him. Nobody in Miu’s group saw what had happened.
In the criminal complaint, witnesses and victims told investigators that a man was bothering a group of children who were floating down the river in their tubes. The group began yelling for help to others who were floating nearby. Witnesses said that a group of people stood between Miu and the group of children and told him to leave. Witnesses told investigators that Miu slapped or punched a woman in the group that was confronting him, and then punched a man and fell into the river. After that, witnesses said Miu began stabbing multiple people who were near him with a knife.
Court documents state that a knife with a black handle, silver blade, silver clip and folded closed was found near where the incident took place, which matched the description of the knife used by Miu, according to witnesses. Other evidence, such as a group of tubes tied together and one that had a piece of bloody flesh on it, was also found.
According to the criminal complaint, investigators reviewed video showing the confrontation. The video showed Miu shirtless and carrying goggles and a snorkel up to a group of tubes, where he grabs on. The group tells him to leave. Miu then walks around the tubes and appears to be looking for something, and then shows him saying something to the group while pointing to them. The video zooms out and shows other people moving towards Miu, telling him to leave. People in the video can be heard saying that Miu was “looking for little girls.” A larger group of people made their way towards Miu and yelling at him, with one person appearing to touch his shoulder. There were people at different distances on three sides, and in the complaint it is noted by investigators that Miu had a chance to leave the confrontation.
The video review portion of the complaint continued, and said that while Miu was confronted by two women, Miu can be seen reaching for and pulling out a knife from his right pocket. As multiple people move towards Miu, a commotion begins, showing Miu falling backwards into the water. As Miu got back to his feet, he is seen being shoved down by a man from behind, and as he is being shoved down, stabbed the man in his abdomen. In the complaint, a woman is seen holding her left side as well. Another man is seen touching Miu’s back, and Miu turned and stabbed him as well. The video then shows Miu with two hands around his neck, and Miu again made a stabbing motion.
The criminal complaint said that the video pans and shows Miu run away from the confrontation, while showing multiple wounded people in or near the river. Investigators noted that there was enough blood in the river to tint the water color red in places. A second video, captured with a cell phone, shows the end of the confrontation with Miu fleeing the scene. In the video, Miu stops by a person who is laying in the river. Investigators said it appeared Miu was holding the person up out of the water by his right arm before the video ends. Investigators said in interviewing multiple witnesses, the physical part of the confrontation began when Miu struck a woman who was confronting him initially, and that Miu was punched after he had hit the woman.
According to documents filed with the charges in court, Miu told an interviewer at the St. Croix County Jail that he was acting in self-defense. Miu said that during the confrontation, a large number of people had converged on him and showed two weapons. Miu said that he doesn’t remember anything after being hit and that he only remembers walking towards the group of people he was with, telling them that nothing had happened. Miu told the interviewer that he was fearful for his safety because he had never been in a situation where a group of people showed him weapons and called him a child molester. He said he remembered telling the group if he was a child molester, and they were children, they shouldn’t be drinking alcohol. Before the fight began, Miu said that one of the people from the group took his snorkel and threw it into the river. Another tried to pull his swim trunks down. As he grabbed onto the person trying to pull on his swim trunks, he said he saw that the person had a knife. He also saw another person with a longer knife. Miu said as he was attacked, he grabbed one of the knives.
Miu’s wife had told investigators that Miu carried a small knife that he kept clipped in his pocket and that Miu told her it had been taken from him during the confrontation, according to the criminal complaint.
In the criminal complaint, Miu said that his contact with the group came when he asked if they had seen cell phone, which had been inside of a floating bag. Miu said he approached a group that appeared as though they had found something, and they got off of their tubes and started calling him names. After his snorkel and goggles had been taken away and thrown into the river, Miu said that he doesn’t remember exactly what happened other than telling the interviewer that he was attacked and he was in “self-defense mode.” The interviewer said that the snorkel and goggles were later found.
During the interview, according to the criminal complaint, Miu said that he began swinging the knife he had taken from one of the people in the group because he wanted to get out. Miu said that people were circling him, punching and hitting him. After he got out of the fight, Miu stayed quiet about what had happened with his group, and said he didn’t tell them what had happened because he thought the people who attacked him were drunk and set on going after other people. He told investigators that “everything happened so fast” and he wasn’t sure why the group took his snorkel or tried to pull down his pants, or tried to scare him with a knife. Miu said he didn’t tell his group what had happened because he didn’t want them to confront the group he had fought with in the river.
According to court documents, Miu said he feared for his life and didn’t want to risk any more confrontation because he wasn’t in good health, citing a quadruple bypass surgery that had been done a year and a half ago. As a result of his heart condition, Miu said he didn’t drink any hard liquor, but said he had consumed a large amount of beer. The investigator noted that they didn’t detect any odor or presence of intoxicants during the interview.
After providing investigators with a DNA sample, he was informed that four people had been hurt and one person had died in the confrontation, according to court documents. Miu said “oh no” and asked if it was a result of fighting each other. When he was told that investigators didn’t know, Miu said “oh my God” and said his whole life was “down the tubes.” Miu told investigators that he was sorry for how things ended up.
In a release, the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office said they were told that multiple people had been stabbed on the river while tubing upstream from the Highway 35/Highway 64 bridge in the Town of Somerset at 3:47 p.m. on Saturday, July 30. Deputies found five people with stab wounds to their abdomen and began providing medical care to the victims. Two of the victims were flown and two others were taken by ambulance to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minn. The fifth victim, a 17-year-old boy identified by his family as Isaac Schuman of Stillwater, Minn., was taken to Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater where we was pronounced dead.
Four other victims, a 24-year-old woman from Burnsville, Minn., a 22-year-old man from Elk River, Minn., and a 20-year-old man and 22-year-old man from Luck, Wis., suffered serious or critical torso or chest injuries, according to the release. Miu, the suspect in the stabbings, was found at the exit point for tubers on the river at Village Park in Somerset, Wis. after witnesses told law enforcement about his location. Miu was taken into custody without incident, according to the release.
The family of Isaac Schuman, who was killed in the stabbings, released a statement Sunday, said the 17-year-old soon-to-be high school senior was preparing to apply to several universities to pursue a degree in electrical engineering. Schuman had started a car and boat detailing business in the past year, and his family called him “mature for his age and had a forward-looking mentality that was uncommon for a high school junior.” Family members said he “entered every room with a big smile, infectiously positive aura and lifted everyone around him up,” and that he had a bright future ahead of him. The family has set up a GoFundMe.
The incident is under investigation and anyone who has video of the incident is asked to send it to St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office investigator John Shilts, who can be contacted at 715-381-4319 or by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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