Hibbing Mayor Talks About Attack

By KBJR News 1

May 9, 2011 Updated May 9, 2011 at 5:42 PM CDT

Hibbing, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -Mayor Rick Cannata says he and the group he was with saw the incident coming a block away.

"We knew something was up. When we got to the corner, one of them came across the street and asked us for our money," said Rick Cannata, mayor of Hibbing.

But Cannata says the man wasn't alone, two others came out from behind trees and when demands weren't met, they threatened violence.

Mayor Cannata and his friend were prepared.

"Me and the other gentleman got between our wives and them...we knew the police were coming," said Cannata.

Witnesses say the skirmish began in a parking lot and when police got closer, one of the would-be robbers took off down the street.

Cannata chased after the suspect in an effort to hold him until police arrived.

After apprehending the runaway suspect, Cannata says the man bit him near his left eye.

A wound that required six stitches.

"I thought you're crazy, but I'm crazier than you and you're not going anywhere until the police get here. The police got there pretty quick and they did a good job," said Cannata.

One young man and two adult men were taken into custody in connection with the incident.

"The juvenile that Mr. Cannata was able to detain was taken into custody right away. As the officers were gathering information with the wives, another male came out and he was recognized by the wives as one of the ones involved with the situation," said Sgt. Ronchetti with the Hibbing Police.

The third suspect, identified as Daniel Thurstin was later located at his residence.

Police say Thurstin and the other adult suspect, Jeffrey Hoshal, both have criminal records from other counties.

The juvenile's name is not being released at this time.

While mayor Cannata was able to detain one of the attackers, authorities caution that pursuing an assailant can be dangerous.

"You push someone into a corner, their capabilities and what their going to do to get away from you, the bounds and limits are taken away," said Ronchetti.

Cannata says he and his wife, and their friends are still shaken up, but says if it had to happen to someone... he's glad it was him.

"I'm mad that it happened in Hibbing, but I'm glad it was us so it didn't have to happen to someone else," said Cannata.

Authorities say having a cell phone on hand and having someone with you are important precautionary steps to take when walking in any community at night.

Charges against the suspects are expected tomorrow.