Man faces charges in missing critter incident

Nathan Wendt

“Stolen” dog shows up after owner smashes RV door in, looking for dog

Greg Marsten | Staff writer

BALSAM LAKE – The Polk County Sheriff’s Department has detailed allegations that an Osceola man called police and told them that a neighbor had stolen his dog, and that he went down to retrieve the animal from their RV, and when they said otherwise, he had punched the door in.

According to the probable cause report, the incident occurred near Big Lake, outside Osceola, on the early morning hours of Wednesday, Sept. 20. Nathan Wendt, 49, Osceola, called the police to report his dog stolen at about 2:30 that morning. He said he thought a neighbor had stolen the dog.

When police arrived on-scene, they were stopped by the neighbor in question, who told them that Wendt had pounded on their camper door, accusing them of stealing his dog, which was missing. When they told him the dog was not there, Wendt allegedly punched the door in, breaking it and injuring himself, leaving blood evidence.

No dogs were found in the camper, the deputy noted.

Wendt then approached the officer but was told to go elsewhere.

When the deputy began to interview Wendt, he claimed that the victim of the camper damage had stolen his dog that evening. The officer noted that Wendt smelled of alcohol and had very slurred speech; he was also unable to walk straight or stand still.

That was when the missing dog sauntered back to Wendt, and the deputy helped him put the animal inside as he placed Wendt under arrest.

Wendt was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property. He appeared before a judge later that day, where the judge set a $1,500 bond and a no-contact order to the man with the camper.

His initial appearance was scheduled for Monday, Oct. 23, before Judge Daniel Tolan.