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North Hudson man survives knife wounds

A 27-year-old North Hudson man is in good condition Tuesday after being stabbed eight times in the upper torso on the pedestrian bridge behind Veterans Park in River Falls around 2 a.m. Sunday.

Carrying out a search warrant, River Falls and Woodville police and a St. Croix County Sheriff's deputy later arrested Robert D. Close, 23, formerly of River Falls, at his parents' Woodville home Sunday evening.

Close was recently released from state prison. He served time there for felony convictions relating to second-degree sexual assault of a child and drug possession with intent to deliver -- both in Pierce County.

Close is being held in Pierce County Jail in Ellsworth.

The knifing victim is Ronald J. Drexl, 27, 902 Michaelson St. N.

He was tended to by River Falls ambulance medics who decided to take him straight to Regions Hospital in St. Paul for emergency surgery.

Earlier in the night Drexl was with his wife and another couple from River Falls and was celebrating a birthday.

Drexl, who didn't know Close, had some type of argument with him at The Library Bar, 106 N. Main St. While the two had words, the exchange in the bar didn't turn physical.

Drexl and his party left the bar and walked across the street to Veterans Park. In that area by the footbridge he again met Close, and they began fighting.