MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 71-year-old man is hospitalized after being stabbed Thursday night by a Redby, Minn. man he had just let use his phone, leading to an eight-hour manhunt in Beltrami County.

Sheriff Phil Hodapp says 23-year-old Orland James Spears showed up at the front door of Mert Scripture’s home in Grant Township just before 9:30 p.m. and asked to use his phone.

Scripture allowed Spears to make a call while still standing outside, but when the call was finished and Scripture closed the door, Spears broke through and stabbed him twice. He fled from the scene on foot after burglarizing the home.

The victim was initially treated by officers at the scene and then taken to Sanford Bemidji Medical Center, where he is still hospitalized as of Friday afternoon.

The Beltrami County Sheriff’s office and Bemidji Police began a manhunt in the area, and K-9 officers tracked Spears’ scent in the woods for hours, but to no avail. During that time, investigators learned that a car in the area had been stolen by Spears from the Red Lake Indian Reservation.

Just after 5 a.m. Friday morning, residents in a Bemidji neighborhood reported a man walking around homes in the area. When deputies arrived, a suspect they determined was Spears had entered a residence through a garage. He refused the commands from deputies to drop his knife, and a K-9 officer was deployed to take him down.

Spears was arrested and taken to Sanford Bemidji Medical Center for treatment. He is now in the Beltrami County Jail awaiting charges.


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