Wadena County and Otter Tail County officers responded to an early morning call on Halloween from a man claiming he was hit with a sledgehammer in Wadena.

The victim, 25-year-old Joe R. Johnson said he was hit with the hammer in the arm by a man he didn't know, according to the criminal complaint filed in Wadena County District Court. Johnson was treated by medical staff for his injuries. The alleged attacker was later identified as 55-year-old Michael D. Hardy. Hardy lived in the same apartment complex as Johnson, next to the former Firehouse Bar and Grille west of Wadena.

Hardy was arrested and taken to the Otter Tail County Jail where he remained in custody on Tuesday. He has been charged with second degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

The criminal complaint says Johnson knocked on Hardy's apartment door after hearing banging on the floor. Hardy became confrontational and allegedly struck Johnson several times with the hammer. Officers smelled an odor of alcohol on Hardy when they arrived. They also noticed several holes in the ceiling, which appeared to be made by the same sledgehammer used in the assault.

Wadena County Sheriff's Office

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Oct. 30

  • Hubbard County Sheriff's Office lost track of a black corvette headed towards Huntersville Road. Officer was unable to locate.
  • Officers responded to a report of a husband who reportedly broke the lock on the home to get inside. He was supposed to live in the garage, while she lived in the home. The caller was advised to change the locks as they were still married with no court orders.
  • A report of an ex-wife telling people her ex-husband was dead, when he was not came in for the second time.

Oct. 31

  • Caller made an anonymous report of two horses being starved. An officer made contact and hay and corn was put out for the horses.
  • Caller reported his red and white coonhound has been missing for the last two weeks in the county. The dog has no collar.

Nov. 3

A report came in of a male wearing dark clothing walking down the middle of the southbound lane of Hwy 71 at about 4:35 a.m. Officer made contact with walker who said he was not from the area and was just walking to cool off. He walked on the sidewalk after contact with the officer.

Nov. 4

  • Caller reported an ATV accident in the county. One had a finger cut off in the accident and another was lost in the woods.
  • A 9-year-old was making suicidal comments wand was taken to Lakewood Hospital for an evaluation.
  • A woman was hearing voices telling her to kill her husband.