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Ex-security guard pepper-sprays autistic man eating free cookies in Minnesota store

ROSEVILLE, MINNESOTA A former security guard faces charges after allegedly pepper-spraying an autistic man who was eating free cookies at a Minnesota grocery store.

Timothy Knutsen of St. Paul is charged with two misdemeanor counts of fifth-degree assault and disorderly conduct for the March incident at a Cub Foods in Roseville. An incident report cited by The St. Paul Pioneer Press says 53-year-old Knutsen was shopping when he saw a 20-year-old man eating a doughnut or a cookie from the bakery and tried to alert employees. The complaint says Knutsen later followed the man, who is classified as a vulnerable adult, and sprayed him in the face with Mace.

Knutsen told police he didn t see the free cookies sign and sprayed the man accidentally.

Knutsen was a training director for American Security. Both the company and Cub Foods said he didn t work for the grocery chain. American Security says Knutsen is no longer an employee.

Living History – Yankton Daily Press

During a hometown visit to Springfield, Dick Martin was amazed at the veterans memorial etched with hundreds of names but he felt something was missing.

He experienced the same feeling when he looked at a Facebook page containing photos of the Springfield veterans.

My sister called me one day and told me that Springfield had this Facebook site for veterans. I went to it and saw all these pictures of veterans from Springfield, said Martin, who now lives in Colorado.

I was really interested, because many of the veterans were parents of kids I went to school with. I was really curious to learn more about these veterans.

Martin, himself a West Point graduate, wanted to learn about the veterans as people their service to the nation and what became of their lives. Martin expressed that desire to Connie (Irish) Allen of Springfield, who spearheaded the memorial and Facebook effort.

I told Connie it would be nice to know more about these veterans beyond their names and photos, he said. I took on the job of writing short biographies about these military members. I wanted to give them more recognition for serving our nation. As he delved into the project, Martin became even more fascinated at what and who he found along the way. The subject of his research included his father, who had fought during World War II.

I started the project, and it was great fun. I researched about the veterans lives, and I talked to some of their families, he said. Some of the family members, I hadn t talked to in years, or they hadn t talked about (the veteran s service) in years. It was a really enriching experience.

As the project grew, Allen talked to Martin about compiling his stories into a book. The discussion hadn t moved much beyond conversation before tragedy struck. Allen died unexpectedly in August 2015 while traveling in London.

Connie died right before the dedication of the Springfield veterans memorial that she had worked so hard to put together, Martin said. I didn t really know what Connie had wanted for a book (with the biographies), but I decided to put one together. In many ways, it was a tribute to the veterans but also a book in her memory.

MOVING FORWARD

The effort received a major boost last May when Martin delivered the address at Springfield s annual Memorial Day ceremony. He ran into Springfield native Laura (Genant) Martin no relation to him who now lives in Sioux City.

We were talking about the book and where to go with it. We talked about how to put it together, Dick said. Laura wanted to take the project on. She was 100 percent behind it. I fed her the biographies, and she really worked hard on what it looks like. She did a really professional job. The final product, which consists of 100 pages featuring around 50 veterans, will be presented to the public at the Springfield Memorial Day service. It will contain all the names on the Springfield Veterans Memorial, along with available pictures of veterans and the completed military biographies.

The book is a hardcover, put together at cost and very professionally done, Martin said. We ve packed everything we can into the 100 pages. The book is divided into sections: World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Mideast wars and National Guard.

With hundreds of Springfield veterans on the memorial, Martin knew he could only do a select few biographies. He focused on his personal connections.

I just started with the parents of people I knew. I went to classmates of mine and some other families, he said. I also told them that anybody can contact me and share their biographies.

LEARNING STORIES

Because many of the veterans had died, Dick Martin relied on interviews and information from families. He found a wide range of reactions to his search.

Some families became very emotional. Many of them learned things they didn t know (about the veteran), he said. But then I was so stunned at other families who didn t know much or who really didn t care about their father s or grandfather s time in the service. Each veteran s story was special, but some stood out in particular, Martin said. A Springfield veteran played a key role in the Pacific Theater of World War II, he noted.

Joe Uken was on the (USS) Darter submarine that was off the Leyte Gulf (of the Philippines), Martin said. He was in the Pacific at the end (of the war), when the Japanese wanted to change the momentum and when the American Navy wanted to put (the Japanese) out of business.

The USS Darter was used to find the Japanese fleet in the gulf, Martin said. The submarine sank two Japanese ships before subsequently running aground. In the European theater, Springfield native Ode Odens joined the launch against German troops 40 days after the Normandy invasion. He engaged in fierce fighting through the rest of the campaign. During the Allied advancement across Europe, Odens fought under Gen. George Patton, Martin said.

Ode was with Patton as they ran the Germans across northern Europe and pushed (the Nazis) back to Germany, Martin said. Ode was with one of the forward observer tanks. He was out front looking for the enemy.

Odens biography contains accounts of his many combat experiences. He had two tanks shot out from under him, with none of his men suffering injuries. He was trapped behind enemy lines for several days during the Battle of the Bulge, forced to hide his tanks in haystacks. Odens was part of the rescue of the 101st Airborne at Arnheim in Operation Market Garden. He provided artillery support at the battle for the bridge at Remagen.

In addition, he was among the first Allied troops to liberate a concentration camp. He helped liberate Mittelbau-Dora, a sub-camp of Buchenwald. He faced the gruesome task of using his tanks to move train car-loads of bodies stacked like wood. Odens helped restore civil government in Germany, and he was part of the security force at the Nuremberg trials. He earned the Purple Heart, the Silver Star for Valor and the Bronze Star for Valor.

Odens role continued after the German surrender and end of the war.

He was part of the occupation force and provided security for a number of generals, Martin said. I always thought they should do a movie about (Odens ) story. For another Springfield veteran s biography, a woman talked about a family member who was killed in a Japanese kamikaze attack. Until contacted for the book, the woman hadn t known anything about that wartime incident. She also learned more about other family members who had served in the military. The book features the story of one female veteran, Martin said.

She wanted to serve, and she was a nurse in Korea, he said. She was working with a MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) unit. They were flying out some patients and ran into a jet landing, and she was killed.

The book features one World War I veteran, Dwight Wood, and about a half-dozen biographies each from World War II and Vietnam. Martin found it more difficult to compile stories from Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan.

We didn t get a lot of entries from veterans of the more modern wars, he noted. The Internet and social media have played a valuable role in locating more information about veterans, Martin said. He used the sources to cross-check on individuals and the units in which they served.

You can then put things together, he said. By knowing the veteran s story, it becomes very personal. And by learning about the unit, you can put the veteran s service into context.

THE NEXT STEP

The Springfield Veterans Book represents only the beginning, Martin said. He and others are working on an interactive website, which they plan to launch in the near future.

We want (the website) to have a personal feel behind it, he said. People can submit their own biographies, and they can come back and visit (the site). We ll announce more about it when we go online with it.

By learning about the Springfield veterans, Martin hopes all citizens learn more about history and the need for constant vigilance in defending the nation. In that respect, Springfield a small South Dakota town of 800 residents has seen its sons and daughters play an important role that needs to be recognized, he said. The Springfield veterans served in all branches and achieved various ranks, but Martin found a common bond among them.

They went into the military to serve their country, he said. Many of them served briefly, not seeking a military career. When they finished their enlistment, they returned home, often to the farm, and lived normal lives.

Martin hopes to return to Springfield next month for the Memorial Day service. He wants to meet veterans and their families during the ceremony and book distribution.

I think this book will be important to the (veterans ) families. But it s also really been one of the highlights of my life, he said.

I hope people develop an appreciation for what these kids did (during their military service). They fought for us and for democracy.

Follow @RDockendorf on Twitter.

Students at Orangeburg County high school pepper sprayed

A security officer at North High School in Orangeburg used pepper spray on 7 students early Thursday afternoon, the Times and Democrat [1]newspaper reported.

Details on the incident were still sketchy Thursday. A spokesman for the Orangeburg Consolidated School District told the newspaper that the incident began after a student s cellphone began playing music. After an assistant principal asked that the music be turned off, the student complied but the music began playing again.

A contracted security officer became involved and the pepper spray was used, Clark told the newspaper.

Witnesses to the incident were being interviewed Thursday afternoon by school officials and local law enforcement.

References

  1. ^ Times and Democrat (thetandd.com)