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Man charged in alleged Saturday night attack: Kirkland facing multiple felonies

Michael J. Kirkland

UPDATE: An Ellsworth man has been charged in Pierce County Circuit Court with multiple felonies in connection with an alleged attack on a female Saturday night.

Michael J. Kirkland, 26, was charged late Tuesday afternoon with felony counts of first degree recklessly endangering safety, aggravated battery, child abuse - recklessly cause harm, false imprisonment and substantial battery - intend bodily harm. He is also charged with misdemeanor resisting an officer and bail jumping.

Ellsworth police responded at 10:07 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29 to a residence in the 300 block of South Piety Street for a report of a woman screaming for help. The 29-year-old woman had stab wounds to the head, according to police reports.

Officers were allegedly confronted by Kirkland at 317 S. Piety St., where he was arrested.

A news release states six children -- ranging in age from 8 months to 9 years old -- were home at the time of the alleged incident.

Kirkland is scheduled to appear in Pierce County Court at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10 for a preliminary hearing.

More details will be made available when the criminal complaint is released.


An Ellsworth man out on bail from an alleged offense earlier in the week was arrested Saturday night on suspicion of attempted homicide.

According to Ellsworth Police Chief Eric Ladwig, officers responded at 10:07 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29 to the 300 block of South Piety Street for a report of a woman screaming for help. Officers responded and found a 29-year-old woman with stab wounds to the head.

Officers were allegedly confronted by “an aggressive male” at 317 S. Piety St. The man, identified as 26-year-old Michael J. Kirkland, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree attempted homicide, child abuse, substantial battery, false imprisonment, misdemeanor bail jumping, obstructing or resisting an officer and disorderly conduct.

The news release states six children -- ranging in age from 8 months to 9 years old -- were at the Piety Street home at the time of the alleged incident. Pierce County Human Services is assisting in the investigation, according to the release.

Ellsworth ambulance and and Pierce County sheriff’s deputies assisted at the scene.

It was not known if formal charges were pending, according to staff at the Pierce County District Attorney’s Office.

District Attorney Sean Froelich did not return a call Monday seeking the status of any potential criminal charges stemming from the Saturday incident.

Kirkland was out on a signature bond for an Aug. 24 incident, in which he was charged with misdemeanor battery.

According to a criminal complaint, Ellsworth police responded in the early hours of Aug. 25 to 137 N. Maple St. for a report of a man fighting people there.

People filed out of the house -- among them, Kirkland. People at the house said he had assaulted a woman who was still hiding inside the house. The alleged victim listed in the battery complaint is a different person than the woman identified by Ellsworth police as the alleged stabbing victim from Saturday’s incident.

The woman came out and told police that Kirkland assaulted her while attempting to sexually assault her in the grass outside English Lutheran Church on Piety Street, according to the complaint.

She said she fought him off. Police documented bruises on her arms and shoulder, in addition to scratches, bruises and dirt on her legs.

Police also documented disturbances in the grass at the church and a pair of shorts that the woman said Kirkland took off of her.

After the alleged incident, Kirkland asked the woman if she would have sex for $600, the complaint states.

He walked to an ATM and she followed. She noted to police that she followed because Kirkland had her cellphone, which she was later able to regain and use to call others to come escort her back to the house.

Kirkland denied attempting to sexually assault the woman, but said they had consensual sex.

He told police multiple versions of events and pleaded for leniency from an officer in exchange for information about drugs. At one point, Kirkland allegedly volunteered to help members of the area drug task force.

Kirkland said he went back to the Maple Street house because his cellphone was there.

Kirkland also showed police injuries to the back of his legs, which he said were inflicted when he was struck by a bat. He said a scratch on his face was also inflicted by the bat attack.