A man who trains security guards sprayed pepper spray in the face of an autistic man who was taking a free cookie.
He was the training director of one of St. Paul’s largest security companies — a man certified on when and how to use Mace.
Which left police mystified as to why Timothy Knutsen would pepper spray an autistic man in the face for eating a cookie from a Cub Foods sampler tray.
Knutsen, 53, of St. Paul, has been charged with two counts of fifth-degree assault and disorderly conduct for an incident in Roseville last month.
According to an incident report, in early March, Knutsen was a customer at a Cub Foods at 1201 Larpenteur Ave., when he saw a man eating “a doughnut or a cookie” from the bakery. He told an employee at the store’s service desk, but she said she didn’t see it and there was nothing she could do.
“(Knutsen) was not satisfied with her response,” the complaint stated. He asked to speak to the store’s loss-prevention personnel — people he later claimed he was responsible for training. Statements from his (now former) company, American Security, as well as Cub Foods, dispute that.
The cookie eater — a 20-year-old Roseville man who was not identified because he has autism and is classified as a vulnerable adult — paid for his groceries and began making his way back to the deli/bakery area again. Knutsen fell in a few steps behind, the complaint stated.
Trying to find out more about this story. It’s weird. I am suspecting other forms of bias (i.e. racism) are intersecting here, but that’s just speculation.