A Thief River Falls man is scheduled to make his Initial Appearance tomorrow morning on charges of Attempted Murder; following a knife fight Wednesday evening in the locker room of a poultry production facility on Pennington Avenue South.

Assistant County Attorney, Stephen Moeller, has charged 26 year old Louis Damian Cruz Montanez with “Attempted Murder in the Second Degree” and “Second Degree Assault,” for allegedly causing “substantial bodily harm” to 41 year old Cristian Rodriguez, during a fight at the Northern Pride Turkey Plant – where both men were employed.

Investigators are sorting through witness statements and differing accounts; but say punches were thrown after a verbal argument turned physical; Montanez allegedly taking a 10 inch boning knife from his locker; Rodriguez using a box fan to shield himself; witnesses describing a wild scene with Rodriguez suffering a stab wound to the neck.

According to the Criminal Complaint; Montanez claims self-defense, saying he picked up the knife after Rodriguez grabbed the box fan and took a swing at him, and accuses Rodriguez of using the fan as a weapon.

Police Chief Dick Wittenberg says Rodriguez was taken to Sanford ER with injuries that were serious but not life threatening.

Investigators say the argument broke out after Rodriguez opened the locker room door with enough force to knock Montenez – who was putting on his boots – into an interior wall, striking his head.

Montanez is scheduled to appear before District Judge Tamara Yon Friday morning at 10am.


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