APD releases more information involving Monday morning standoff

Published 10:06 am Monday, July 8, 2024

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The Austin Police Department has released new information regarding Monday’s standoff in Austin, which involved a seven-year-old girl.

The girl, believed to possibly be the daughter of the man at the heart of the standoff, was released from a white vehicle parked in the driveway of a home in the 1700 block of Fourth Avenue NW at around 9:10 a.m. Monday morning. 48-year-old Kristofer Luiken was taken into custody and according to the Austin Police Department’s Capt. Todd Clennon, local charges are pending with the Mower County Attorney’s Office.

According to a release issued Monday afternoon, the incident began at around 10:25 p.m. Sunday night in Owatonna when police were dispatched to the scene of a disturbance at a convenience store. After making contact, Luiken fled from officers with the girl, striking an Owatonna squad car in the process.

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An alert was sent out to local agencies to be on the look-out for Luiken for fleeing, child endangerment, reckless driving and hit and run. According to the release, the Minnesota State Patrol picked up the man’s vehicle on Highway 218 and followed it south into Austin. At some point, stop sticks were used to flatten the vehicle’s tires.

After pulling into the home’s driveway in Austin, APD and State Patrol made contact with Luiken. 

Clennon had said concern was high regarding the safety of the child given that several knives were discovered in the front of the car as well as two cans of bear spray and a container of gasoline.

“Our primary concern, of course, was the young girl,” Clennon said, adding. “It was unpredictable given the man’s mental state.”

APD negotiators arrived on scene and began efforts to resolve the conflict. Initially, Luiken refused all attempts to exit the vehicle and release the child. Almost 10 hours later, the situation was brought to a close with Luiken surrendering and the child being released into the care of family not long after.

Luiken was transported to the Mower County Jail pending charges.