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Duluth man charged with assault in home invasions

Scott Eric Obrecht, 37, was charged with five crimes in two counties Monday after allegedly breaking into two residences and assaulting the homeowners on a single day last week, using a gun and an ax handle to beat his victims.
By: Tom Olsen, Duluth News Tribune

A Duluth man was charged with five crimes in two counties Monday after allegedly breaking into two residences and assaulting the homeowners on a single day last week, using a gun and an ax handle to beat his victims.

Scott Eric Obrecht, 37, was formally charged in both Carlton and St. Louis counties. He faces second-degree assault and second-degree burglary charges in Carlton County, and two counts of first-degree burglary and a count of theft of firearms or property valued over $35,000 in St. Louis County.

Making his first appearance in Carlton County, Obrecht was ordered by Judge Robert Macaulay to undergo a competency evaluation before the case could proceed. Obrecht’s public defender did not return a call seeking comment Monday afternoon.

According to criminal complaints filed Monday:

A homeowner at 6936 Morris Thomas Road in rural St. Louis County reported a burglary just after 5 p.m. Thursday. Steven Heikkila told authorities that a man wearing goggles had entered his house and told him he needed “guns for his grandma.”

Heikkila said he thought it was some kind of joke and pointed to his gun cabinet. The man asked about handguns, and Heikkila said he didn’t have any. The man then began pulling other guns out of the cabinet and asking about ammunition, when the homeowner became concerned.

Heikkila said he grabbed hold of the intruder. The two men crashed to the floor, and the gun cabinet fell on top of them. The homeowner reported being struck twice in the head by the intruder with the butt of a long gun. The man then left the house with a shotgun.

Minutes later, authorities received a call from a motorist on Morris Thomas Road, who reported that she had seen a car traveling erratically. A male threw a shotgun out of the window before pulling over and getting out of the vehicle, the woman reported. The man then appeared to start kicking and yelling at the car, she said.

About 7:10 p.m., Carlton County deputies responded to a burglary call in Mahtowa Township. Officers reported finding Obrecht assaulting the homeowner with an ax handle in the yard.

The husband and wife at the house reported that an intruder walked in without permission. The homeowner, identified only by his last name — Collelo — said he shooed the man away, but he instead proceeded to their garage, where he grabbed an ax handle.

Collelo then confronted the man, demanding that he return the property, when Obrecht began assaulting him with the weapon, as well as his hands and fists, the homeowner reported.

Collelo required hospitalization for his injuries.

Obrecht is next scheduled to appear in court in Carlton County on Oct. 28. He has yet to make an appearance in the St. Louis County case, and no date has been set for him to appear.

Source: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/281183/group/news/