Man charged in standoff that originates in Owatonna, ends in Austin

Published 5:23 am Wednesday, July 10, 2024

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A Point Pleasant, Wisconsin man at the heart of a Monday morning standoff involving a seven-year-old girl, has been charged.

Kristofer Karl Luiken, 48, was in Mower County District Court Tuesday where he faced three felony charges including child endangerment, obstructing the legal process and threats of violence.

He has also been charged with one gross misdemeanor charge of false imprisonment.

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Luiken was taken into custody at a little after 9 a.m. Monday morning after a standoff that lasted over 10 hours and originated in Owatonna.

According to the court complaint, Owatonna Police officers were dispatched to a child welfare check at around 10:30 p.m. Sunday night. A press release from the Austin Police Department Monday afternoon noted the check was at a convenience store in Owatonna.

When officers made contact with Luiken, he fled the scene with the girl, striking an Owatonna squad car as he did.

According to the complaint, the vehicle Luiken was driving was followed into Steele County, but was terminated due to concerns over the welfare of the child. However, the Minnesota State Patrol was able to deploy stop sticks after Luiken crossed into Mower County, deflating all four tires.

Luiken continued into Mower County and then into Austin, where he pulled into the driveway of his mother’s house in the 1700 block of Fourth Avenue NW.

A Mower County Sheriff’s Office deputy made contact with Luiken and ordered him out of the car while informing him he was under arrest. Luiken informed law enforcement that he had gas in the car with the girl, however, he refused to allow the girl out when requested.

The court complaint reflects that Luiken was smoking with gas in the can. Later, it would be discovered that he also had two containers of bear spray and several knives as well as a hatchet.

At one point, Luiken allegedly reiterated that he had gas in the car and told an Austin Police Department officer that he would regret approaching the vehicle.

During negotiations with Luiken, the girl could be heard yelling from the vehicle that she had to go to the bathroom. After repeated attempts the girl could be heard crying, screaming and jumping around in the vehicle.

At no time throughout the entire incident was the girl allowed out of the vehicle.

Along with police negotiations, a pastor and family members tried talking with Luiken to try and get him to leave the vehicle. Once he did finally surrender Monday morning, the girl was released to family members.

Luiken is currently being held in Mower County Jail. There are no further court dates currently slated.