Kanabec County couple remains hospitalized after brutal attack, community rallying to help

A Kanabec County couple continues to fight to survive after being attacked in their own home early Sunday morning.

Jeff and Becky Ponto were at their rural Ogilvie home when an intruder broke in and assaulted them with a mallet around 4:30 in the morning.

Jeff is suffering a critical brain injury and Becky remains on a ventilator; both have numerous bone fractures. Jeff Ponto is a long-time volunteer firefighter, and it was some of his colleagues who were first to arrive at the heinous crime scene.

"When we have something go bad up in rural areas it can be really bad," said Dan Wilder said. "So you see a lot of things you can’t unsee. And you know everybody. This just happened to hit a lot closer to home because it’s one of our brothers and one of our sisters."

Meanwhile, the firehouse is filled with a somber and heavy mood as they hope and pray for Jeff and Becky, a couple known to be pillars of the community. Along with Jeff being a volunteer firefighter, he owns an auto shop and helps out at the local raceway.

Becky is a surgical technician and Sunday School teacher.  She also helps with 4-H.

"Happy fella. And she’s the same way she walks in the room with a smile on her face and has a one-liner of some sort and make you laugh. Both good people," said Romie Troupe, an Ogilvie volunteer firefighter.

"The community as a whole is just overall shocked about this," said Josh Smith. "You know that it happened in our small town up here. Ya know then when you find out who it happened to that makes it even worse."

As for the suspect, he was also injured but FOX 9 is told he’ll be released to jail soon. More details on what happened and the suspect will be released when charges are filed by the Kanabec County Attorney, who tells us she is waiting on additional evidence.

If you’d like to help with medical bills there is an online fundraiser. You can also donate at any Spire Bank.