A Minnesota man who was arrested for allegedly stabbing a teenager to death and injuring four others during a tubing incident on Saturday is claiming self-defense.
Nicolae Miu, a 52-year-old mechanical engineer from Prior Lake, Minnesota, said he acted in self-defense when he stabbed 17-year-old Isaac Schuman to death and injured four other teens. He apparently told police after the attack that he was “so fearful” for his life, according to a police report obtained by the Daily Beast.
The attack occurred on July 30 in Somerset, Wisconsin. Miu, his wife, and a group of friends had been tubing on the Apple River when one person dropped their phone in the river. Miu agreed to search for the phone using scuba gear and left his group to return to the river. While he was away from his wife and friends, Miu had an altercation with two different groups of tubers. What happened between the groups is unclear, with each telling their own side.
Miu told St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Brandie Hart that he had approached a group of people who he thought might have found his friend’s phone. He said the group got off their tubes and began “insulting” him and “produced two weapons.” He said these people hit him and that he was “so fearful” for his safety and didn’t know what the people would do to him. He said another group of mostly women then approached him and began calling him a “child molester” and he responded by saying that if he was, and they were children, then they shouldn’t be drinking alcohol.
Miu also told the lieutenant that one of his alleged attackers took the snorkel he was using to locate his friend’s phone and threw it in the river and another tried to pull down his swim trunks. He said he grabbed this person and saw the person had a knife. Miu also claimed he saw another person with a “longer knife.” Miu told the officer he took the “smaller knife” from an individual who attacked him.
“I thought that was it for me,” Miu told the lieutenant, according to the police report. “Luckily, I took it from one of the young kids.”
Miu said he twisted the arm of the person who had been holding the knife and “poked him with his own hand.” That’s when, he said, he obtained the knife and started swinging.
Hart asked Miu if he had brought a knife with him that day and he responded, “absolutely no,” other than the one he’d used earlier in the day to cut the string holding the tubes together. He said he didn’t know what happened to it but believed he “gave it to one of the people” or left it in his car.
Sondra Miu’s Story
Sondra told St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Mitchell Schaeppi that she didn’t see what actually happened, but that she did see a group of men get off their tubes and start hitting her husband. She said she yelled and that two members of her own group ran toward Miu and the other people, but that all she heard was screaming before her husband and friends returned.
Sondra also told the deputy that Miu did have a knife with him, in his pocket, and that her husband told her the people had “grabbed it from him.”
Other Witnesses’ Stories
Other witnesses told deputy Schaeppi that they saw an older man bothering a group of teens in the river as they yelled for help. These witnesses said they saw another group of people stand between Miu and the teens before Miu punched or slapped a woman who had confronted him. Witnesses said they then saw Miu stabbing multiple people near him.
Video Of The Altercation
Footage of the altercation taken by Jawahn Cockfield was summarized in the police report. The footage showed Miu running up to the group of teens and grabbing their tubes, prompting the teens to tell him to “get away.” Miu can then be seen walking around the tubes and looking for something before walking away. He then turned back to the group and said something before again walking away. By this point, several individuals approaching Miu and yelling at him to walk away.
“In the video you can hear people expressing that ‘he was looking for little girls,’” deputy Schaeppi wrote. “A larger group of individuals converge toward the area. Multiple people were yelling at Nicolae, and it appears at least one person touched his shoulder. From the video it does appear to show people on three sides of Nicolae at different distances. The video and elapsed time shows opportunity for Nicolae to leave the confrontation.”
Miu is then confronted by two women, and a knife can allegedly be seen in Miu’s pocket with his right hand on it. It is after this conversation that Miu allegedly pulls out the knife. A commotion starts, and Miu can be seen falling back into the water, with someone slapping him in the face. Miu tries to get to his feet but is shoved back into the water again. He tries again to get out of the water but is shoved by the same individual yet again Miu then stabs the person in the abdomen while again being shoved into the water.
Miu stands up and the camera shows a young woman holding her left side and a man touching Miu’s back. Miu turns and moves his arm in a stabbing a motion. The camera also shows another woman with a wound on her torso. Miu is shoved again and reaches out in a stabbing motion once again. The knife appears to be covered in blood as Miu runs away before approaching a young man lying in the river. Miu appears to lean over the individual, and blood can be seen in the water.
Miu appeared in court on Monday via Zoom, where he was held on $1 million bond and ordered to wear a device that would test his blood alcohol levels throughout the day. The monitor would also alert authorities if Miu comes within half a mile of the victim’s homes.
If convicted, Miu faces life in prison.