A Minnesota man was arrested on Monday for allegedly killing a teenager and injuring four others as he slid down a river in Wisconsin.
Nicolae Miu, 52, claims he went on a rampage in self-defense during an encounter that was sparked by a phone lost in water on Saturday in Apple River, a popular water tubing destination, according to informations.
His stabbing killed 17-year-old honor roll student Isaac Schuman.
Miu was charged with one count of first-degree homicide and four counts of attempted first-degree homicide.
After her arrest, Miu told an investigator “they attacked me” and “I was in self-defense mode,” MPR News reported, citing a criminal complaint.
Miu, who was tubing with his wife and others, was searching for a lost phone in a waterproof container using a snorkel when he encountered others, MPR News reported. At one point he was accused of ‘looking for little girls’ and being a ‘child molester’ as members of the group surrounded him after seizing water tubes from minors, KARE reported 11, citing the complaint.
Video of the incident then shows the group moving towards Miu, who fell in the water, the complaint states. Before a tuber could apparently push him again, the suspect stabbed him with a knife and then attacked others, according to court documents obtained by KARE 11.
A witness reportedly said Miu swam up to the group and looked at them “really weird and summarily” and at least two people told authorities the altercation turned physical because Miu punched a young woman in the face.
Prosecutors believe Miu could have walked away from the situation before it escalated, KARE 11 reported.
In addition to her self-defense argument, Miu also claimed that the knife used in the attack did not belong to her and told authorities that her life was now “broken down”, CBS Minnesota reported.
The local news station also reported that his lawyer called the incident a “chance encounter”.
All of the victims who survived their stab wounds were in their early 20s, the local sheriff’s department said Sunday. The suspect was located 90 minutes after the attack thanks to witnesses who took photos of the suspect and shared them with authorities.
Meanwhile, the family of the fatal victim remembered Isaac Schuman, an aspiring high school student, as someone who had an “incredibly bright future ahead of him”.
“We are all heartbroken and devastated beyond words that his future has been tragically and senselessly cut short,” the family told KARE 11 in a statement.
Miu was held on $1 million bail following a court appearance on Monday and could face life in prison if convicted on the homicide charge, MPR News reported. .
New York Post