A La Crescent police officer who came to the aid of a woman and child who had been stabbed repeatedly has been given a special award by the city.
Officer Ryan Quanrud, a five-year veteran of the department, found a woman, a three-year-old child and the alleged perpetrator covered in blood when he arrived at the scene at Juniper St. in La Crescent on June 28 2016.
The unnamed woman, who was aged 23 at the time, had been stabbed six times in the torso and suffered two collapsed lungs, according to police. The child was stabbed in the leg and neck and needed surgery to repair damage to an artery. Police said that after stabbing the woman and the child, Sean Kasten, of Ettrick, Wisconsin, then turned the blade on himself.
Quanrud gave “immediate medical care” to both of the victims and the suspect, the letter of commendation read at Monday’s La Crescent City Council meeting said. La Crescent Police Chief Doug Stavenau presented a Certificate of Merit and pin to Quanrud at the meeting and the council applauded the officer.
“Your actions of quickly assessing if there was a continuing public safety threat, the immediate medical care you provided to both the victim and the suspect, and the subsequent investigation of the incident demonstrated qualities that deserve to be recognized,” Stavenau told Quanrud at the meeting.
Kasten, who was 27 at the time of the incident, was charged with attempted first degree murder, second degree assault with a dangerous weapon and animal mistreatment. Police said he also stabbed a dog that was in the car with the woman and the child when Kasten attacked them. The dog survived the attack.
Stavenau said he’d held back on presenting the award to Quanrud until the case against Kasten had worked its way through the legal system.
In May of this year, Kasten admitted to the charges against him, according to court records, but was found not guilty by the court by reason of mental illness, based upon multiple reports by examining doctors.
Houston County Attorney Sam Jandt subsequently petitioned the court to commit the defendant to a state security hospital as a person who “is mentally ill and dangerous.”
On Oct. 2, the Houston County District Court agreed with Jandt’s petition and committed Kasten to a state security hospital. Kasten will be held in the secure hospital for an undetermined lenght time, Jandt said, and will only be released if he comes through a lengthy monitoring process.