Man charged with assault, attempted manslaughter in alleged road rage incident

A 71-year-old Cambridge man is facing two charges of assault, and one carge of first degree attempted manslaughter, stemming from a shooting in Isanti over the weekend as the result of an alleged road rage incident.

Joseph Duane Kadlec was charged Tuesday, Oct. 2, in Isanti County District Court with felony first degree assault causing great bodily harm; felony second degree assault with a dangerous weapon causing substantial bodily harm; and felony first degree attempted manslaughter.

Joseph Duane Kadlec

In requesting a high bail for Kadlec, Isanti County Attorney Jeff Edblad noted that in addition to numerous traffic complaints, law enforcement records also show Kadlec was the subject of five prior road rage incidents from 2008 through 2010.

“Judge, what we have here is a hot-head with a gun, a car and a sense of entitlement,” Edblad said. “He certainly feels he has a sense of entitlement on driving and where he can park. This defendant should be thanking God we are not here with a first degree murder charge.”

Judge James Dehn set Kadlec’s bail at $250,000 without conditions or $100,000 with conditions and his next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 25.

According to the criminal complaint:

On Saturday, Sept. 29, at approximately 4:05 p.m., the Isanti Police Department received a call of a fight that was taking place in the east parking lot of the Isanti Police Department. Officers Daniel Vandenheuvel and Rodrick Barrows were inside the police department at the time.

As officers looked out into the parking lot they saw two motorcycles and a car parked in the parking lot. Officer Barrows saw a man standing at the driver’s side door of the car, and another man, who appeared to be the driver of the car, attempt to get out of the vehicle.

As the officers exited the building, they heard a gunshot and saw a man, later identified as Kyle William Ronning, 29, of Columbia Heights, standing by the vehicle holding his mouth.

When officers looked closer at Ronning, they observed a large quantity of blood, shattered teeth, a lot of damaged tissue, and determined he had been shot in the face.

Office Barrows continued to render aid to Ronning and attempted to locate an exit wound and nothing was found. Upon further examination, it appeared there was a bullet protruding from the lower portion of the right ear, which appeared to be where the bullet was lodged.

Officer Barrows also noticed that Ronning had a fixed-blade knife that was in its holder and a pocketknife in his pocket, which were secured.

Ronning was flown to Hennepin County Medical Center and is expected to be released this week.

Officer Vandenheuvel spoke with Kadlec, the driver of the car, who mentioned a road rage incident on Hwy. 65.

Kadlec said Ronning hit him in the face and his glasses went flying. Officer Vandenheuvel noted there were some glasses on Kadlec’s shirt and pointed them out to him when Kadlec said it was his sunglasses. Officer Vandenheuvel did not see any marks or redness on Kadlec’s face from being struck.

The officers observed a 9 millimeter handgun lying on the driver’s seat of Kadlec’s car and took possession of it.

In the criminal complaint, witnesses gave statements to law enforcement indicating they saw Ronning and another motorcyclist trying to pass Kadlec who was heading southbound on Hwy. 65 in between Cambridge and Isanti.

They said as the motorcyclists tried to pass Kadlec, he would intentionally swerve his car toward them.

The witnesses said this type of action occurred frequently, and at one point, one of the motorcyclists kicked Kadlec’s vehicle and also gave him “the finger.”

Witnesses said Kadlec’s car turned first onto Co. Rd. 5 heading west and the motorcyclists followed.

Kadlec’s attorney says his client was attacked

Kadlec’s attorney, Daniel Guerrero, said he is “dismayed” none of his client’s statements were included in the criminal complaint after Kadlec and his wife were interviewed by law enforcement. Kadlec’s wife was a passenger in the car at the time of the incident.

“The evidence will show that my client was being chased and pursued by the motorcyclists so he drove to the police station,” Guerrero said. “The motorcyclists threatened him and described the fact they can locate his house and kill him. That’s when my client grabbed his gun and placed it under his armpit.”

Guerrero said when Ronning “swung” at Kadlec and hit him, the gun unintentionally went off.

“My client didn’t intentionally shoot anyone,” Guerrero said.

Guerrero said his client has owned his home in Cambridge for eight years, has been married for 47 years, retired for nine years and was honorably discharged from the Air Force.

Guerrero noted Kadlec is in poor physical health, and is unable to defend himself in a physical altercation. He noted Kadlec had been in Cambridge Medical Center the past few two days due to stress associated with the incident.

“My client is 71-years-old and was chased, pursued, accosted, attacked and threatened,” Guerrero said. “There’s a good argument to be made that he’s the victim here.”

Conditions of release for Kadlec

Judge Dehn put several conditions of release on Kadlec that includes no leaving the state of Minnesota without approval; no contact with the victim or the witnesses; no possession of alcohol or drugs unless medically prescribed; subject to random drug and alcohol testing; no possession of firearms, and all firearms must be turned into the sheriff’s department prior to release; no driving or operating a motor vehicle; and no entering bars or liquor establishments.

A search of court records show Kadlec has two speeding convictions from July 2010 in Mille Lacs County and June 2012 in Pine County. Kadlec was also cited in Isanti County Sept. 21 with petty misdemeanor, traffic regulation unlawful passing-against signs, and ordered to pay a $135 fine.

The Isanti County Sheriff’s Department confirmed Kadlec received a permit to carry a handgun in 2011.

Isanti Police Chief says shootings in Isanti are rare

Isanti Police Chief Ron Sager, who was appointed acting chief in 1997 and officially appointed in 1998, said Monday morning that shootings in the city of Isanti are rare.

“Not counting self-inflicted gun shots, I believe this would be only the second shooting in the history of Isanti,” Chief Sager said. “I also grew up in Isanti, and can’t recall any other shootings besides this one over the weekend, and one other one.”

Chief Sager said there weren’t any officers involved in the shooting, and the police station is closed to the public over the weekends.

“There happened to be officers at the police station at the time, so we were immediately able to respond to the scene,” Chief Sager said.

Isanti Police was assisted by the Isanti County Sheriff’s Office, Cambridge Police Department, Isanti Fire Department, Isanti County Safety & Rescue, Minnesota State Patrol, Isanti Police Reserves and Allina Ambulance.