Zumbrota Man Charged After Brutal Hammer Attack

Posted at: 01/17/2013 6:25 PM
Updated at: 01/17/2013 10:46 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) - Police say an estranged husband brutally attacked another man with a hammer. That Zumbrota man is facing more than a half dozen charges following that attack. 26-year-old Jonathon Closner has been charged with attempted murder, assault, burglary, and violating an order of protection, among others.

According to the criminal complaint Jonathon Closner and his wife were having marital problems. Despite being served with a restraining order just days earlier, police say Closner went to his wife's home, found her in bed with another man, and attacked that 20 year-old Daniel Yennie with a hammer.

"We have a 2 1/2-year-old, me and my wife do, and it’s just scary that something like that happened right down the road, something as violent and gruesome as what did," said neighbor Matthew Decker.

People living near the Ponderosa Trailer park in Zumbrota are in shock. "I don’t know, it’s just a scary deal. You just don't know what lurks around the corner," said neighbor Lisa Trom. Her home is just feet away from where police say Closner brutally attacked the man with a hammer.
"I was on my way to work and saw the lights flashing and had no idea what was going on. The next thing I heard, my dogs were barking and I heard the helicopter come in,” said Trom.

"It was determined that her husband had come to the residence, picked up a hammer, and went back into the bedroom, and struck the party several times in the head," said Zumbrota Police Chief Gary Selness.

Police found Yennie lying on the bed, unresponsive. Then they went looking for Closner, after his estranged wife told them he's the one who did it. The criminal complaint says after the attack, Closner left the home and threw the hammer in the woods adjacent to the home. It didn't take long to find him. "Just minutes, I'd say maybe 10 minutes," said Chief Selness.

The criminal complaint says Closner was arrested at the Kwik Trip down the road from where the attack happened. Police say he first denied being involved, but then admitted it. "The public was not in any danger, it's an isolated incident with the husband and wife and the other male," said Chief Selness.

Still, neighbors remain uneasy. "I do feel unsafe, but it seems like it was kind of secluded," said Decker.

The man police say Closner attacked, 20 year-old Daniel Yennie, was airlifted to Saint Marys Hospital with severe head trauma. We know he'd been in critical condition and in a coma, but when we called the hospital Thursday night, we were told Yennie is no longer listed as a patient there.