Originally published June 10, 2022
PENNINGTON COUNTY, Minnesota (WCCO) – A northwestern Minnesota man who was accused of fatally stabbing his wife is accused of assaulting prison officers during an attempted prison escape.
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Eric Reinbold, 45, attempted to escape from Pennington County Jail on Saturday. Two prison officers were sent to hospital after the incident, documents show. He was charged with first degree assault, attempted escape and fourth degree assault.
According to the complaint, an officer stood near a medicine cart, asking if any inmates needed over-the-counter medication. Reinbold said yes, walked around the trolley and grabbed the officer. He then allegedly threw her to the ground so hard she “saw stars”, then grabbed her by the arms and dragged her across the floor. He continued to hit her while holding a white colored pencil, according to documents.
Another officer approached him and pushed him forcefully against a wall. He told the officer to open the inner prison door, but the officer said he couldn’t, because he couldn’t feel his legs. Reinbold then grabbed the correction badge from the officer’s chest and attempted to use it on the badge reader to open the door, the complaint states. However, the badge does not open the prison door.
A third officer came to the scene and, after failing to verbally defuse the situation, deployed his Taser. However, the probes failed due to the amount of clothing Reinbold was wearing. He dropped the pencil and eventually the officer used the Taser to stun the right side of his ribs.
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Reinbold was then handcuffed and two police officers from Thief River Falls arrived to help put him in a holding cell.
The entire incident was captured by the prison’s surveillance system, the complaint states.
Reinbold was charged in 2021 with repeatedly stabbing his wife in the neck and torso. She was found dead in the driveway of her home on July 9. According to the complaint, one of the children told investigators he thought Reinbold was upset because he believed his wife was seeing someone else.
He was last seen the day before he died and was found almost a month later “hiding in the woods” near an abandoned farmhouse. Prior to his wife’s death, he had a criminal record that included bomb-making charges.
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First-degree assault carries a maximum sentence of 20 years and attempted escape carries a maximum sentence of 2.5 years, if convicted.