Man accused of four assaults in two hours

A Perham man is in critical condition at MeritCare in Fargo, suffering from severe head trauma after an alleged Nov. 20 assault at a local supper club.

A Perham man is in critical condition at MeritCare in Fargo, suffering from severe head trauma after an alleged Nov. 20 assault at a local supper club.

The victim, David Kennedy, was assaulted at T-Bonz Saloon and Steakhouse, but the severity of his condition was unknown until the next day. He was admitted at Perham MeritCare and airlifted to Fargo with a severely bleeding internal head injury.

The incident occurred about 9 p.m. It was one of several crimes and assaults the suspect is alleged to have committed within the span of a couple hours.

The suspect, Jeremiah Elwin Ard, 22, Dent, is also accused of entering a residence at 10:30 later that night. When a Perham police officer arrived at the home, there was an altercation between Ard and the officer.

It wasn't until a day later, Nov. 21, that police learned that he may have also been involved in the violent assault earlier in the evening Nov. 20.


The victim, David Kennedy, 35, Perham, was allegedly knocked to the floor by Ard, near the pool table at T-Bonz restaurant. According to witnesses at the scene, he appeared to be unconscious, but revived, stood up and he was brought to his home by another patron, who said that Kennedy didn't appear to be injured.

It is uncertain how long Kennedy was unconscious after the altercation. T-Bonz staff apparently didn't witness the actual assault, which occurred in span of just a few seconds, according to the police report.

Accounts are somewhat sketchy, but a woman who was part of a small group gathered in a nearby meeting room said she saw Ard assault Kennedy, whom she recognized because she is a customer at the Station House restaurant--where Kennedy was a chef. She passed by the pool table on her way back to the meeting when the incident occurred. According to the police report, the witness said Ard was "twice" the size of Kennedy.

The bartender and a friend of Ard's, Joshua Jacob Grover, who was also shooting pool, reportedly tended to Kennedy as he revived. Grover then brought Kennedy home to Kennedy's apartment.

Neither police nor emergency medical services were called immediately following the incident.

Reporting for work at the Station House the next day, Kennedy seemed disoriented. He began slurring his words and became incoherent, according to police reports. The Station House is owned by his parents, Don and Betty Kennedy. His condition worsened while at work, and eventually he didn't recognize his mother, according to the police report.

After tests were administered at the Perham MeritCare clinic, an air ambulance helicopter was ordered immediately, and Kennedy was rushed to Fargo. He is unconscious and in critical condition due to several blood clots, including a large one on the portion of the brain that controls speech and recognition.

Staff at T-Bonz are stunned by the situation.


"Dave (Kennedy) is our friend," said T-Bonz owner Tom Helcl. "He plays cards with us here, he shoots pool with us. We're all greatly disturbed with what happened."

Helcl, who was not on duty at the time of the incident, said he is shocked by the thought that, based on reports, "one guy can fly off the handle and in a matter of seconds--wreck somebody's life."

Because of the delay of nearly a day before being notified of the assault, the police were unaware of the incident, said Perham Police Chief Brian Nelson.

Ard was detained, however, on a completely unrelated incident that occurred some time after he left T-Bonz. He allegedly entered a Perham home at about 10:30 p.m. and the family phoned the police.

The woman who owned the house was doing the dishes when she heard the door open and a strange male walked into her house, according to police reports. She asked Ard what he was doing in her house, with Ard responding that it was his house and she better leave. He was allegedly quite intoxicated and started yelling, according to the investigator's report.

Hearing the commotion, the woman's two sons, ages 12 and 15 ran to assist their mother. The 15-year-old stood in between Ard and his mom to protect her and Ard then allegedly assaulted the boy.

After a fight inside with the two juvenile males, Ard left the house and then assaulted them outside, the report states.

An officer arriving on scene was also assaulted by Ard who allegedly pushed the officer up against his car, leading to a brief foot pursuit of the suspect. Ard was eventually brought to the ground by a taser.


Ard was transported to Otter Tail County Detention Facility.

According to Chief Nelson, Ard had no connection to the residents of the home and it appeared to be a random trespassing.

Ard appeared in Otter Tail County District Court, and was formally charged with first degree burglary and three separate assault counts in connection with the home break-in.

Formal assault charges relating to the incident involving Kennedy, along with other possible counts, are pending. Ard has been in custody, with bail set at $50,000.

What To Read Next
Get Local