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Emergency crews busy Turtle Fest weekend

Emergency and law enforcement crews were called into action several times during the Turtle Fest celebration last week.

As fireworks lit the sky overhead June 21, there were fireworks of another kind on the ground.

One woman was transported to Perham Memorial Hospital after an altercation at the Turtle Fest Demolition Derby.

Three arrests for disorderly conduct were made, as the Perham Police Reserve officers, the Perham Police Department and the Otter Tail County Sherrif's Department were called to calm down the crowd in the bleachers.

The incident occurred about 11 p.m., just as the post-demolition derby fireworks were being launched.

Details as to what sparked the brawl aren't entirely clear, but Troy Kadel, 28, Erhard, and Stacy Woessner, 35, Dalton, were both cited for disorderly conduct, according to Perham Police Chief Brian Nelson.

Alcohol consumption was a factor. The brawl reportedly started between two women--after one asked the other to quiet down her profane language, as there were children in the bleachers, according to the incident report.

Assaulting a police officer and disorderly conduct charges are pending against a 25-year-old Brainerd man, but his name was withheld pending formal charges.

One woman was evidently knocked down the bleachers during the incident, and sustained neck injuries. She was treated and released from PMHH.

Police reservists were among the first on the scene, after Perham Jaycees members and bystanders attempted to break up the dispute. A Perham officer and three county deputies were also sent to the scene.

After Perham EMS transported the injured woman by ambulance, officers were on the scene until past midnight, interviewing and taking statements.

Perham officers were still sorting out the reports Monday. Rumors that there was a stabbing in the bleachers are untrue. However there may have been a verbal threat of a knife--according to several bystanders.

EMS workers received an initial dispatch that there had been a stabbing, and were concerned that they would be dealing with more serious wounds--but that didn't turn out to be the case.

Demo derby driver injured

Earlier in the evening, Perham EMS workers and Perham Volunteer Fire Department members worked for nearly a half-hour extracting an injured driver from his derby car.

Driver Mike Gebro, Fairmont, North Dakota, who is a regular on the demo derby circuit, sustained lower back injury after a hard jolt by another demo car.

Because of the smashed condition of his old Dodge, crews deployed the emergency extraction gear (Jaws of Life) to tear off the hood of the car, and removed Gebro by stretcher. He was transported to Perham Memorial Hospital.

The injuries were not serious. In fact, he came back for the end of the derby after being treated and released.

The incident slowed the derby schedule, however, which was a factor in the delay of the fireworks show later. Fireworks were scheduled for 10:30 p.m., but the display wasn't launched until close to 11 p.m.

Police break up incident at street dance

Perham police reservists and officers were called to the Turtle Fest street dance on Friday to respond to an incident.

A 23-year-old Detroit Lakes man was arrested for disorderly conduct, and released to an uncle. The suspect attempted to bring a canned beer into the street dance area, which is not allowed.

After a confrontation with reserve officers and Jaycee members, he was escorted out of the dance.

Later, he attempted to come back into the dance, and another confrontation ensued. Police handcuffed the suspect and put him inside a squad car. Meanwhile, police and reserve officers spent nearly a half-hour calming down the party of about a dozen who were with the suspect. Finally, the suspect was released and the entire group departed.