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Homeless man faces charges

FAIRMONT — A homeless man is facing felony charges in Martin County.

Skiler John Hovenga, 30, has been charged with two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon in the second degree. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine.

According to the complaint:

On July 18, Fairmont police officers were dispatched to a residence in the 300 block of Lake Avenue on a report of a disturbance involving a knife. Two officers arrived on scene and observed a group of people yelling in the northwest corner of the property. Two males were yelling at a third male, later identified as Hovenga.

One of the officers told Hovenga to show his hands and drop a knife. Hovenga did not comply and began running south around the house. The officers went around the north side of the house to cut him off and observed Hovenga run across Lake Avenue toward a second residence, which he entered and left a short time later.

Eventually, Hovenga was approached by a deputy with the Martin County Sheriff’s Office but continued to walk south through the back yards in the neighborhood. Hovenga told officers he had an order from the president and the officers could not be within 6 feet of him. He also spoke of a government-issued cell phone that was missing. Officers directed Hovenga to go to the ground but he refused to comply, continuing to talk about having an order from President Trump.

The deputy and an officer drew their Tasers and ordered Hovenga to lie on the ground. Hovenga eventually got down on his knees with his hands up, and officers were able to place him in handcuffs.

Another deputy spoke with the two men who had been yelling at Hovenga. One said he had been on the west side of his property cleaning the windshield of a vehicle when he observed Hovenga approach him from the south side of the residence. He explained that Hovenga was hiding something in his vest, and he was able to see the point of a knife.

Hovenga began making comments about a phone, but the man was unable to understand him because of a language barrier. The man informed other individuals present to take inside a 2-year-old child who was present.

The man explained that Hovenga removed the knife from his vest and began waving it back and forth, saying, “If anyone starts to panic, I’m going to do something with it.” The man said he grabbed a hammer, while the second man grabbed a broom.

The second man said that once Hovenga observed they had weapons, he backed off a couple of feet.

A deputy then spoke to two residents of the second residence Hovenga had entered. They said that earlier in the day Hovenga had arrived at their residence and was “strung out.” When asked what drug Hovenga was using, one of the residents said Hovenga was on meth. She said Hovenga later returned, this time running into the residence. She said Hovenga attempted to get into the basement, then began saying, “I’m not here.” He then attempted to go upstairs and both residents told him to leave.

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