COON RAPIDS, Minn. - An employee of Ace Hardware in Coon Rapids is recovering from apparent stab wounds after trying to stop a shoplifter Tuesday morning.
Store owner Todd Spanjers tells KARE 11 that the incident began when one of his employees called out on his radio to report a shoplifting incident in progress. By the time he and other employees were able to respond the suspect and a female accomplice were already exiting the store with a supply of brass plumbing fittings.
Spanjers and one employee followed the man to his car in an attempt to keep him from escaping. The store owner reached inside in an attempt to put the vehicle in park, while the employee opened the door and tried to grab the suspect. That's when the man threatened to kill the employee, pulled a knife or cutting tool and stabbed or slashed him.
At that point the suspected shoplifter ran from the vehicle and headed down Foley Boulevard with Spanjers following him, talking with police dispatchers and relaying their location. Eventually the man reached a stand of trees and dared Spanjers to come into the woods after him.
Eventually squads arrived on the scene and arrested the suspect. There are reports that they had to use a taser on him, but police haven't confirmed that.
The stabbed employee was transported by ambulance to the hospital, as was the woman who was with the shoplifter. No word on either of their conditions.
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