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Nicolae Miu to police after Apple River stabbing: “My whole life is down the tubes.”

Shortly after a chaotic confrontation on the Apple River left a teenager dead and four others injured, Nicolae Miu told a police investigator that he had no idea what set off the fight — and expressed shock that anyone had been seriously harmed.

Informed that one person died and four more were injured, Miu put his head in his hands. He asked if the injuries had resulted from two groups of young people floating on the river fighting with each other — but also indicated that he knew he was involved.

“My whole life is down the tubes,” he said.

Miu, 54, of Prior Lake, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the July 2022 stabbing that left 17-year-old Isaac Schulman dead and four other young people seriously injured. He is also facing four counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and faces the possibility of life in prison.

During the seven-day trial, prosecutors and their witnesses have said Miu’s alleged comment about “looking for little girls” set off the brawl. Miu’s attorneys say their client was taunted and surrounded by the group of young people who had been floating down the river, and that he reacted in self-defense.

In the lengthy police interview video played Tuesday morning, Miu appeared calm as he described how he, his wife, and a group of friends set out for a “beautiful day” on the river. He said it was a relatively rare outing after months spent recuperating from a heart attack and quadruple bypass.

He described putting on a snorkel to hunt for a friend’s lost phone — and then stumbling upon a group of young people who began yelling at him.

“All of a sudden, they were like wolves around me and they were attacking me from all directions and I truly, truly feared for my life,” Miu told St. Croix Sheriff’s Office Lt. Brandie Hart, in an interview played Tuesday during Miu’s trial in St. Croix County Circuit Court. “I didn’t know what to do.”

Miu told Hart that two young men had knives, and that he’d grabbed one, but wasn’t sure what had happened to it. Hart asked several times if Miu had come to the river with a knife; he said he had, but had left it somewhere, likely in his vehicle.

That account differs from those of witnesses, who told investigators that they saw a knife in Miu’s pocket, and then in his hand. that in a video taken by a bystander, a knife clipped to Miu’s pocket is visible before he opens it up.

After being informed of the result of the brawl, Miu expressed concern that the young people involved would find him and his wife — and that drinking and drug use on the Apple River was a major problem. He assured Hart that he had not been using drugs and had no criminal record.

“I don’t have anything, not even one parking ticket, not one speeding ticket,” he said. “I’m as law-abiding citizen as they come. But I feared for my life, too.”