A 52-year-old Prior Lake man was charged with first-degree homicide and attempted first-degree homicide on Monday on allegations he stabbed a 17-year-old Stillwater boy and injured four other people during a an attack on the weekend while he was on the tube. Apple River in western Wisconsin.
Nicolae Miu appeared via video link Monday afternoon in St. Croix County Circuit Court in Hudson and was posted $1 million bond. If Miu could post bail, Judge Michael Waterman said he would have to maintain “absolute sobriety” and not possess weapons.
Miu, handcuffed and in an orange jail suit, sat quietly in a jail room under the watch of sheriff’s deputies during his first court appearance. Waterman told Miu he could request a court-appointed attorney or retain an attorney of his choosing. The judge has scheduled a hearing on Friday to discuss his legal representation, which will be followed by another hearing on August 12.
The deceased teenager has been identified by his family as Isaac Schuman, a new senior at Stillwater High School.
The victims and Miu were all coming down the river around 3:45 p.m. Saturday, Sheriff Scott Knudson said. The attack happened just up the highway. Bridge 35/64 in Somerset Township, near the Minnesota border and northeast of Stillwater.
The Apple River has long been a popular summer recreation destination for residents of the Twin Cities.
“Deputies, along with citizens, have begun providing medical care to the victims,” read a statement from the sheriff’s office.
The surviving victims were all hospitalized in stable condition, ranging from serious to critical injuries to the torso or chest, the sheriff’s office’s statement Sunday said. They include two men from Luck, Wisconsin, one 20 and the other 22; a 24 year old female from Burnsville and a 22 year old male from Elk River. Those responsible have not yet revealed their identities.
Knudson said Monday afternoon that Luck’s two victims have since been discharged from the hospital.
Burnsville’s wife is Ryhley Mattison, who explained on a GoFundMe page on his behalf that “friends and I were tubing when we arrived [across] a group asking for our help. My friends and I went to see what was going on, and there was an older man who was inappropriate and he was asked to leave but he didn’t. The older man ended up getting a knife and stabbing a few friends of mine and myself included.”
The sheriff said, “Thank goodness a witness took a picture of [the suspect]. Another witness located him at the exit of the tubing area, where he was taken into custody. It is not yet known who was related to whom, who knew each other or what precipitated it. It’s a tragic day.”
In response to the attack, the tubing service operator closed for the day on Sunday but resumed operations on Monday.
Saturday was “a difficult and tragic day on the river,” read a Facebook post from River’s Edge Campground on Sunday. “Tens of thousands of visitors every year…enjoyed floating down the river with family and friends. Yesterday an act of violence shattered that serenity.”
The post described the emergency response to the incident as “immediate and showed the best of the community, its people, the volunteers and the professionals who serve us. … No amount of preparation can predict or plan acts of violence random like this, but thanks to the concerted efforts of all parties involved, the situation was fully addressed and brought under control in a short time.”
Stillwater High School Principal Robert Bach said in an email to the families that “we express our deepest sympathy to the family and to all those affected directly or indirectly. … During this time of bereavement , we ask that you keep the family in your thoughts.”
Bach added: “The death of a classmate, even to those who did not know them well, will impact each student differently, and all reactions should be handled with great care and support. We encourage you to talk about it with your children. sad news and help them deal with their feelings.
“Please let us know how we can continue to support you and your children as we go through this difficult process together.”