BURNETT COUNTY—A Webster man has been charged with aggravated battery of an elderly person after he allegedly attacked a 72-year-old man with a billy club during an altercation in Webster. He then led police on a high-speed chase that ended with authorities finding him underneath a boat.
Cowan J. Bruss, 29, Webster, has been charged with aggravated battery of an elderly person, a class H felony and attempting to flee or elude an officer, a class I felony. He was also charged with three misdemeanor charges for disorderly conduct, criminal damage to property and resisting an officer.
According to the criminal complaint, on Sept. 4 dispatch received a report of a “fight involving bats” at Affordable Auto on Highway 35.
Sheriff deputies arrived around 1:10 p.m. to speak with the 72-year-old male victim, who showed them three injuries from the altercation on his right hand, right temple and right knee.
He described Bruss to the deputy as “twitchy” and alleged he was “high on something.” The two were talking about cars when Bruss asked the victim if one of the cars was for sale. He told Bruss it wasn’t, saying it belonged to his son.
Bruss yelled an expletive followed by, “Everything is for sale!” He exited the store and came back with a billy club and began striking the victim until he hit the ground. A third man attempted to help the victim, when the victim grabbed his own small bat and struck Bruss in the head.
As police were en route to the scene, Bruss fled. Another deputy intitated a pursuit of Bruss. They were traveling about 85 mph over the course of approximately 3.3 miles. Bruss turned onto Cedar Street and then onto Trout Avenue. When he reached a dead end, he exited his car and ran into the woods.
While he was running south, dispatch requested the K-9 unit, but they were unavailable. Webster Police Chief Stephenie Wedin spotted the suspect and saw him crawl up underneath a boat that was upside down on a trailer.
One of the deputies flipped over the boat exposing Bruss. He actively began resisting and the deputy deployed his taser once. When Bruss continued to resist, the taser was deployed a second time. Bruss was then taken into custody and transported to Burnett Medical Center.
Bruss is scheduled for intake on Oct. 10 for a trio of traffic cases.