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Itasca Co. Man Found Guilty For Threatening Officer With Knife

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – An Itasca County man was found guilty Friday of multiple felony charges after threatening a police officer with a knife, according to the Itasca County Attorney's Office.

Vernon Kingbird Jr., 25, has been charged with felony second degree assault, felony obstructing legal process or arrest and gross misdemeanor obstructing legal process or arrest. The jury acquitted him of use of deadly force against a peace officer.

According to the criminal complaint, Deer River Police Officer Mike Cowan responded to a call at the Timberwolf apartments on February 28 and found Kingbird sitting against the door of an apartment. Kingbird had a beer in hand and was visibly intoxicated.

Kingbird showed Cowan a knife he had in his left hand and told the officer to shoot him. Cowan told Kingbird repeatedly to put the knife down. Kingbird again told Cowan to shoot him.

After more requests to drop the knife, Kingbird stood up and said, "Shoot me. I am going to come after you," the complaint states. Kingbird then positioned himself to charge Cowan.

County Deputy Jake Olson arrived on scene and approached Kingbird. Both officers pulled out their tasers and told Kingbird to put down the knife. After he refused, Olson deployed his taser. Kingbird dropped the knife, and after a brief struggle the officers handcuffed him.

Kingbird's sentencing is scheduled for July 6. He is currently being held at the Itasca County Jail.

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