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'Child crimes' suspect allegedly attacks deputies with 12-inch kitchen knife


The man who was shot by law enforcement after threatening them with a knife during a raid on Wednesday is now facing criminal charges.

Authorities say he was with his mother when law enforcement arrived with a search warrant regarding internet child crimes. Officials say he returned with a 12-inch knife and tried to attack deputies before they shot and seriously injured him.

According to a criminal complaint, Kenneth M. Harter is facing the following charges:

  • Felony Battery or Threat to Judge, Prosecutor, or Law Enforcement Officer - Use of a Dangerous Weapon
  • Felony 1st-Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety - Use of a Dangerous Weapon.

If found guilty of both charges, Harter faces a maximum of more than 18 years in prison.

The criminal complaint states Ozaukee County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a call on CTH E in the town of Fredonia on June 7. At the door, law enforcement were met by the suspect and his mother. The suspect tried to get his mother to leave the area when officers told them they were there with a search warrant.

The deputies noticed the suspect then headed back into the home into the kitchen area, where the complaint states he got a knife and held it over his head in a "threatening manner while near the officers."

That's when the investigators decided to remove the knife from his hands.

"The detectives then attempted to secure the knife to prevent harm to themselves, or self-harm to Harter, and during the struggle shots were fired striking Harter, after which they were able to secure him. The knife was recovered and found to be a kitchen knife with approximately a 12 inch blade," according to the complaint.

Authorities say during the struggle one of the deputies raised his hand, catching the knife.

According to the complaint, "Detective B. stated that after Harter moved from the door he reached for an object and then brought the same arm toward him as though he was about to strike Detective B. Detective B. stated that he brought his arm up to protect himself from being struck, at which point he was cut by the knife that had been in Harter’s hand."

The complaint states law enforcement showed their badges multiple times and said "law enforcement" to the suspect.

Harter is currently in the hospital recovering from "serious injuries," according to a news release from the Wisconsin Department of Justice on Wednesday.

As TMJ4 News previously reported, a suspect was shot and injured by an Ozaukee County Sheriff's Office deputy Wednesday morning as deputies executed an 'internet crimes against children' search warrant.

The incident happened around 7:20 a.m. near the N6700 block of CTH E in the Town of Fredonia and resulted in both the suspect being injured, as well as a sheriff's office detective.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, as deputies were executing the search warrant, a male suspect armed himself with an 'edged weapon'. A deputy then shot the suspect.

The suspect was taken to a hospital and is in serious condition. An investigator suffered minor injuries. The deputy who shot the suspect has been placed on administrative assignment, per department policy.

The Department of Justice is investigating the incident, with assistance from the Mequon Police Department.

Read the full press release from the Wisconsin Department of Justice:

The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is investigating an officer involved critical incident in Fredonia, Wis. that occurred on the morning of Wednesday, June 7, 2023.

At approximately 7:25 a.m., Ozaukee County Sheriff’s deputies were executing a felony search warrant for an internet crimes against children investigation at a residence on the N6700 block of CTH E in the Town of Fredonia. During the attempted arrest, a struggle ensued, and the male subject armed himself with an edged weapon and was shot by a detective. The subject is in serious condition and was transported to a local hospital.

An Ozaukee County detective was injured during the incident and was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.

The deputy from the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office who discharged their weapon has been placed on administrative assignment, per department policy.

DCI is leading this investigation and is assisted by the Mequon Police Department, Ozaukee County Emergency Management, Wisconsin State Crime Lab, and a DCI Crime Response Specialist. All involved law enforcement are fully cooperating with DCI during this investigation.

DCI is continuing to review evidence and determine the facts of this incident and will turn over investigative reports to the Ozaukee County District Attorney when the investigation concludes.

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