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Man who terrorized family in BWCA arrested again

  • Associated Press
  • January 22, 2014 - 7:55 PM

MINNEAPOLIS — A man who went to prison for terrorizing a family in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in 2007 is in trouble again, this time for snowmobiling illegally in the wilderness.

The Star Tribune reported Wednesday (http://strib.mn/1dP2H0r ) that conservation officers arrested Barney Lakner and a friend, Edward Zupancich, earlier this month after a chase that reached speeds of 80 mph.

It's the fourth time in 10 years that Lakner, 44, of Ely, has been cited or charged with breaking the law in the BWCA. In 2007, he and five other young men terrorized a family on vacation, demanding that the campers get off "their land," firing an assault rifle and threatening to rape and kill them as the family huddled together in the woods.

That incident got Lakner a three-year prison sentence. He was also banned from the wilderness for five years.

"We perceive he has an issue with the guiding legislation covering the BWCA — no question about it," said Capt. Thomas Provost, northeast enforcement manager for the Department of Natural Resources.

Lakner and Zupancich, 26, of Babbitt, face several charges, including fleeing a police officer, littering and possession of mechanical equipment in the BWCA.

Their attorney, Gordie Pineo, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he couldn't comment because it was still early in the process and he hadn't seen all the information.

Emmerich Koller, whose family was tormented by Lakner in 2007, said he wasn't surprised by Lakner's latest run-in with the law, saying "it shows this guy has problems with the rules."

Of the run-in with Lakner, Koller said, "that was a horrible, horrible night."

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