A 22-year-old Sagle man who was pepper-sprayed by a Spirit Lake homeowner after being found hiding in a closet, pleaded guilty to a felony Tuesday. Several misdemeanor charges were dismissed.
Sunkmanitu Littlebrave pleaded guilty to the charge unlawful entry while being pursued by a peace officer. It was part of a plea agreement that calls for a suspended three-year sentence and which allowed Littlebrave to be released on his own recognizance. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 14.
Misdemeanor charges of unlawful entry, obstructing officers and malicious injury to property will be dismissed at sentencing.
Police reported that Littlebrave was intoxicated last November when he entered the home of former Spirit Lake Mayor Todd Clary, who was awakened by his barking dogs and his wife telling him someone was in the house.
When Clary found Littlebrave in a closet, he told him to come out, then sprayed him with a can of bear spray he kept near his bed.
“I probably used half of the can in four bursts,” Clary said. “Every time he’d move, I’d spray him. I couldn’t get him to quit moving.”
Littlebrave escaped by bursting through a screen in the house. Police found him hiding in a construction site. His coughing — prompted by the bear spray — gave away his location.
Neighbors near Clary’s Delaware Street home also reported attempted break-ins at their homes.
Littlebrave had attempted to hide in a neighbor’s dog house but broke through the roof of the house in an effort to escape police, who used a K9 to track Littlebrave in the dark, cold night.
When he was arrested, Littlebrave told police his face was burning and that he was blinded from the pepper spray.
He had inadvertently entered Clary’s house, he told police, because a woman said to meet him there. He later said that he thought it was his grandmother’s house.
Littlebrave told police he walked from Athol to Spirit Lake to go to the bars. The trouble started when he tried to leave town and ended up in the residential area on the east side of town.