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Stabbing reported on Apple River

The Apple River in Somerset was the scene of a stabbing and brawl on Saturday, June 10, according to St. Croix County sheriff's deputies. File photo

Authorities said a racial epithet led to an Apple River brawl that left one man with a stab wound to the face.

A 20-year-old Somerset man sustained minor injuries after another tuber used a pocket knife to cut his face during the incident, reported to St. Croix County sheriff's deputies at 4:03 p.m. Saturday under the Highway 64 bridge in Somerset.

Chief Deputy Scott Knudson said officers arrived to find the stabbing victim, along with another Somerset man with a punch-induced cut to his face and a Blaine, Minn., woman saying she sustained a concussion after being punched during the fracas.

A fourth man also reported being punched in the face. Knudson said that man, a black Somerset resident, was the target of harassment and a racial epithet that led to an argument between two groups of tubers.

The stabbing victim was taken by a private vehicle to a hospital where he received stitches for a wound beneath his eye, Knudson said.

The knife-wielding suspect was described as a thin white man in his 20s standing about 6-feet tall wearing a camouflage ballcap. Another man in his group accused of landing punches was described as a thin, 6-foot-tall white male in his 20s wearing a black bandanna.

The suspects floated away on the river after the incident. Knudson said investigators were working with tubing businesses to identify the suspects, who remained at large Monday.

Alcohol was present and may have played a role in the incident, Knudson said.

Anyone with information on the incident can call St. Croix County sheriff's investigator James Haefner at 715-381-4325.

Officers from Somerset, New Richmond and the Wisconsin State Patrol, along with a rescue squad from Somerset and an ambulance from Lakeview Hospital assisted deputies on the call.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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