Duluth man in custody following bizarre string of eventsScott Eric Obrecht, 37, of Duluth faces one felony count of second-degree assault and one count of second-degree burglary in Carlton County, as well as two felony counts of first-degree burglary and one felony count of theft of firearms in St. Louis County.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
Judge Robert Macaulay ordered a competency evaluation Monday for a man who broke into residences in St. Louis and Carlton counties last week and assaulted the respective homeowners with a gun and an ax handle.
Scott Eric Obrecht, 37, of Duluth faces one felony count of second-degree assault and one count of second-degree burglary in Carlton County, as well as two felony counts of first-degree burglary and one felony count of theft of firearms in St. Louis County.
Obrecht was formally charged in both counties on Monday.
Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler said he is uncertain just how things will move forward between the two counties until he has an opportunity to talk with Obrecht’s attorney, Kevin Cornwall. In the meantime, Obrecht must undergo the competency evaluation before the case can proceed. Pertler said the order for the evaluation was based in part on Obrecht’s behavior at the time of the incidents and in part on his subsequent interactions with attorneys.
Obrecht is set to appear next in Carlton County on Oct. 28 for a Rule 8 hearing.
According to the criminal complaints filed in the incidents:
St. Louis County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the 6900 block of Morris Thomas Road in rural St. Louis County at approximately 5:23 p.m. on Oct. 17. The homeowner reported that just minutes earlier a man had come into his house and stolen his shotgun. Upon further investigation, authorities learned the homeowner had gone to the bedroom to change his pants when he heard the front door of the house slam open and someone running up the stairs.
As the homeowner came out of the bedroom to investigate, a male wearing goggles with very dark lenses rushed at him, grabbed ahold of his shirt and pushed him against the wall. The intruder said he needed “guns for my grandma.” The homeowner said he thought it was a joke, but the intruder continued to hold onto him and shake him and demand “guns for my grandma,” so the homeowner pointed to the gun cabinet in the bedroom.
The intruder then asked him if he had any handguns, and when the homeowner replied he didn’t have any, the man grabbed two guns out of the cabinet and started to search through it for ammunition. The homeowner said he was concerned about what the man would do with the gun if he had ammunition, so he ran at him and grabbed ahold of him.
The two men then crashed to the floor and the gun cabinet fell on them as they struggled. The intruder struck the homeowner in the head twice with what the homeowner reportedly believed to be the butt of one of the long guns. The homeowner was eventually able to force the man out of the bedroom and then threw him down the steps. As the intruder scrambled to his feet he grabbed the shotgun and ran out of the house.
The homeowner observed the intruder departing in a four-door car with a license plate number that he was later able to supply to police. The vehicle was found to be registered to Obrecht, whose parents live in the 6700 block of Morris Thomas Road. Deputies learned there was an order for protection forbidding Obrecht from being on the property but that he had been there earlier and kicked in the front door of the residence. His father told authorities he was “acting nuts” and kept asking if his grandmother, who also resides at the residence, was OK. The family reported Obrecht was wearing goggles and had left their residence driving his blue BMW just minutes before the break-in and burglary occurred down the road.
About five minutes after the burglary, a woman called 911 reporting having observed a vehicle swerving back and forth and being driven erratically eastbound on Morris Thomas Road heading toward Canosia Road. She told authorities that as she looked on, she saw a shotgun being thrown out the window. She said the male driver then pulled over and looked like he was kicking and yelling at the car. She described the male as wearing a stocking cap, a hooded sweatshirt and dark sunglasses.
Authorities responding to that call located the shotgun, which was later identified as the one reported stolen by the homeowner. They subsequently launched an all-out search to locate Obrecht.
Later that same evening, Carlton County Sheriff’s deputies were summoned to the 2900 block of M.T. Nelson Road in Mahtowa at approximately 7:10 p.m. in response to the report of a home invasion and assault in progress. Deputies responding to the scene learned that a man, later identified as Obrecht, had forced his way into the home without permission while the homeowner was present. The homeowner then forced him to leave, at which time Obrecht made his way into their garage and grabbed an ax handle. The homeowner confronted him, demanding he return the ax handle and leave.
Obrecht then began to assault the homeowner with the ax handle, as well as with his hands and fists. He was on top of the homeowner in the yard, still assaulting him with the ax handle, when authorities arrived. The assault caused injuries severe enough to force the homeowner to seek medical treatment at the hospital.
Obrecht was taken into custody, his vehicle was impounded and he is currently in jail in Carlton County.