Despite knowing about a string of recent road-rage incidents involving a 71-year-old man, the Isanti County sheriff said Wednesday that he was legally obligated to issue a permit to carry a gun to the man who is now charged with shooting a motorcyclist in the face after a cat-and-mouse highway incident over the weekend.

Joseph D. Kadlec, 71, of Cambridge, Minn., was charged Tuesday with three felonies in the shooting outside the Isanti Police Department parking lot on Saturday. Authorities say Kadlec has been involved in at least five other road rage incidents since 2008.

"The reason he was issued a permit is because there was no indication in the required background check that indicated [Kadlec] was a danger to himself or others or was not allowed, by statute, to be issued a permit," Sheriff Russ Monson said in response to an inquiry Tuesday from the Star Tribune.

Monson then went on to explain that in each of the five earlier cases, "we have on record [Kadlec] was angry at someone for their driving conduct but never used any weapons, never assaulted anyone, never made threats and was never arrested."

The sheriff added that each of the cases ended in a warning and with those involved encouraged to calm down.

Kadlec received his permit on Dec. 12, 2011. The earlier incidents spanned from Sept. 6, 2008, to March 28, 2010.

Saturday's shooting victim, Kyle W. Ronning, 29, of Columbia Heights, was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was admitted, treated and released. A fellow motorcyclist and roommate, Matthew D. Larowe, 30, was at the scene but unharmed.

In the first of the five earlier cases, according to County Attorney Jeff Edblad, Kadlec was involved in a motorcycle-car crash and officers called to the scene reported both drivers yelling obscenities.

In that incident, Christopher Opdahl, of Isanti, said he was driving on County Rd. 5 when he passed Kadlec. But when they got to a stoplight and he turned left, Kadlec followed and accelerated, hitting the motorcycle and throwing Opdahl off his bike, Opdahl said.

In a March 2009 incident involving Kadlec, one vehicle was trying to pass another and the two later collided in what was alleged to be intentional ramming, Edblad added.

Star Tribune staff writer Kelly Smith contributed to this report. • 612-673-4495 • 612-673-4482