77-year-old Polk County man fights off attacker; suspect arrested for attempted homicide

Duane Smith Jr. Photo: Polk County Sheriff's Office. Duane Smith Jr.

Josh Skluzacek
Updated: September 28, 2020 12:46 PM
Created: September 28, 2020 11:02 AM

A Polk County, Wisconsin man was able to fight off an alleged attacker Friday night.

According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to a rural Clear Lake home at 6:09 p.m. on an attempted homicide report.


Deputies found a 77-year-old man with blunt-force trauma injuries and wounds from an edged weapon. The sheriff's office said he was able to fight off an attacker and protected himself by firing his shotgun at the attacker, although he didn't hit the suspect.

The suspect fled the scene before authorities arrived but the St. Croix County Sheriff's Office and Glenwood City Police quickly located 32-year-old Duane Smith Jr. The sheriff's office said he was believed to have been under the influence of a controlled substance.

The victim was airlifted to a hospital in stable condition.

Smith remains in custody at the Polk County Jail.

An investigation remains active.

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